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HEINRICH     HEINE 


THESE  TRANSLATIONS 
ARE  GRATEFULLY  DEDICATED 

TO 

HERMAN  EPSTEIN 
TEACHER  AND  FRIEND 


PREFACE 

In  his  "  Life  of  Heinrich  Heine  "  (one  of  the  hasty 
but  surprisingly  excellent  pot-boilers  written  before  his 
alter  ego,  Fiona  MacLeod,  became  a  cult),  William 
Sharp  points  out  what  he  considers  Heine's  "  funda- 
mental and  puzzling  complexities." 

Among  other  and  less  significant  things,  he  recog- 
nizes him  as  a  romanticist  and  the  chief  foe  of 
Romanticism;  a  true  poet  and  a  born  journalist;  an 
historian  without  method,  a,  philosopher  without  a 
real  philosophy;  a  free  liver  and  yet  loyal  to  his 
wife  and  reverent  of  his  mother;  the  most  tender  of 
Teutonic  poets  and  the  most  brutally  cynical;  a  Ger- 
man, yet  the  bitterest  scourge  of  Germany;  an  intense 
admirer  of  Sterne,  a  lover  of  Shakespeare,  a  corn- 
mender  of  the  poets  of  England,  and  a  hater  of  the 
nation  and  everything  English;  a  cynic  who  laughed 
at  sentiment,  and  a  sentimentalist  in  spite  of  all  things 
— impatient  and  irritable  in  health,  of  heroic  endur- 
ance in  ills  more  terrible  than  ever  fell  to  the  lot  of 
a  poet.  .  .  . 

Some  time  before  this,  even  before  the  death  of 
Heine,  Gerard  de  Nerval  had  written :  "  It  is  no  idle 
paradox  to  say  that  Heine  is  both  hard  and  soft,  cruel 
and  tender,  naif  and  sophisticated,  skeptical  and 
credulous,  lyrical  and  prosaic,  impassioned  and  re- 
served— an  ancient  and  a  modern."  .  .  .  But  neither 
Nerval  nor  Sharp  made  anything  but  a  perfunctory 
and  half -perplexed  attempt  to  explain  this  amazing 


vi  Preface 

discovery  of  contradictions.  Sharp,  in  particular, 
wound  up  his  book  with  a  rapt  appreciation,  ending 
in  a  flourish  of  rhetorical  trumpets,  and  concluded 
the  matter. 

But  it  needs  something  more  than  a  list  of  antitheses 
to  understand  this  restless  genius,  a  confusing  figure 
who  has  been  paired  with  such  names  as  Catullus, 
Aristophanes,  Burns,  Rabelais,  Cervantes,  Voltaire, 
Swift,  Villon — in  fact  to  every  writer  who  is  known 
as  a  master  of  either  simplicity  or  irony.  It  needs 
a  close  and  interpretive  reading  of  his  "  Book  of 
Songs  " ;  it  needs  a  general  knowledge  of  the  politically 
experimental  and  altogether  chaotic  times  of  which 
he  was  so  fiery  a  product ;  and  it  needs,  first  and  last, 
the  constant  reminder  that  Heine  was  a  sensitive  Jew, 
born  in  a  savagely  anti-semitic  country  that  taught  him, 
even  as  a  child,  that  "  Jew  "  and  "  pariah "  were 
synonymous  terms.  The  traditions  and  tyrannies  that 
weighed  down  on  all  the  German  people  of  his  day 
were  slight  compared  to  the  oppressions  imposed  upon 
the  Jews.  The  demands  upon  them,  the  petty  persecu- 
tions, the  rigorous  orders  and  taboos  would  form  an 
incredible  list.  Let  these  few  facts  suffice :  In  Frank- 
fort, when  Heine  was  a  boy,  no  Jew  might  enter  a  park 
or  pleasure  resort;  no  Jew  might  leave  his  ghetto  after 
four  o'clock  on  a  Sunday  afternoon;  and  only  twenty- 
four  Jews  were  allowed  to  marry  in  one  year.  In 
such  an  atmosphere  Heine  received  his  heritage  of 
hate  and  his  baptism  of  fire. 

A  great  deal  of  literary  nonsense  and  general  con- 
fusion has  resulted  because  so  many  of  Heine's  critics 
and  biographers  have  taken  him  at  his  own  valuation. 
Heine  was  never,  as  he  so  often  and  fondly  thought 


Preface  vii 

himself,  a  Greek.  He  was  not  that  fictional  creature, 
an  Hellenic  Jew.  Nor  was  he,  except  in  a  geographical 
sense,  a  French  or  a  German  Jew.  He  was,  in  spite  of 
the  seemingly  absurd  redundancy,  a  Jewish  Jew. 

In  a  crude  generality,  one  might  say  that  the  Greek 
ideal  was  decorative,  the  Jewish  ideal  was  social.  The 
Greeks  were  glad  to  create  work  that  brought  happi- 
ness to  the  creator;  they  produced,  in  the  best  sense, 
'  Art  for  Art's  sake.'  The  Jews  were  never  satisfied 
with  so  exclusive  and  aristocratic  an  aim ;  their  motto 
(if  they  ever  had  one)  might  have  been  *  Art  for  Life's 
sake ' ;  for,  from  the  first  prophet-priests  who  com- 
piled the  Books  of  Moses  to  the  obscure  rhapsodist  who 
wrote  the  Psalms,  the  vision  was  always  a  democratic 
one.  These  Jews  identified  themselves  with  their  songs ; 
their  confident  egoism  as  message-bringers  lifted  them 
above  their  preoccupations  as  artists;  and  when  they 
exalted  God  they  were  celebrating  what  was  godlike 
and  powerful  in  men.  Before  the  Jews  would  ac- 
knowledge Beauty,  it  would  have  to  stand  shoulder  to 
shoulder  with  them,  work  among  them,  drink,  sweat, 
suffer  and  become  part  of  their  daily  desires  and 
dreams ;  to  them  it  could  never  be  merely  its  own  ex- 
cuse for  being.  The  hotly  humanist  element  in  Heine 
stood  out  constantly  against  the  deliberate,  unimpas- 
sioned  and  cool  reserve  of  the  classicist. 

The  Jews,  as  he  himself  so  frequently  pointed  out, 
are  an  inherently  insurgent,  stubborn  and  uncomfort- 
able race;  a  people  whose  temperament  is  almost  di- 
rectly opposed  to  the  overrefined  consciousness  and 
Olympian  serenity  of  the  Greeks.  And  Heine  was  even 
more  '  insurgent,  stubborn  and  uncomfortable '  than 
the  most  typical  of  his  race. 

Heine  imagined  he  was  '  a  joyous  Hellene  '  because 


viii  Preface 

he  recaptured  something  of  that  strange  mixture  of 
sestheticism  and  Homeric  splendor ;  because  he  sang,  in 
a  worldly  and  mechanistic  age,  of  Aphrodite,  nightin- 
gales and  a  defiant  paganism ;  because  he  addressed  his 
literary  prayers  to  Apollo  rather  than  to  Jehovah  or  to 
'  the  melancholy  Nazarene.'  These  things,  of  course, 
made  him  no  more  truly  Greek  than  the  putting  on  of 
a  toga  would  have  made  him  a  Roman.  Compare,  for 
instance,  his  familiar,  rude  and  altogether  human  man- 
ner of  treating  the  deities  (in  "The  North  Sea") 
with  the  way  they  are  treated  by  a  truly  Hellenic  poet 
like  Landor.  And  every  chapter  in  his  score  of  prose 
volumes,  every  page  of  his  careless  and  often  banter- 
ing letters,  every  line  of  his  direct  and  intimate  poetry, 
shows  him  for  what  he  was :  the  unusually  emotional 
and  quick-tempered  Oriental:  the  true  Semite,  never 
so  sensitive  as  when  he  covers  his  hurt  with  a  cynical 
shrug  or  a  coarse  witticism ;  his  rudest  jests  being  often 
the  twisted  laugh  of  a  man  in  agony. 

The  man  Heine  (if  one  can  consider  him  for  a  mo- 
ment without  regard  to  his  race  or  his  gifts)  recovered 
from  his  early  love-affair  with  his  fickle  cousin  in 
Hamburg.  Heine,  the  Jew  (aggravated  possibly  by 
Heine,  the  poet)  never  did.  On  the  contrary,  he  dwelt 
on  the  theme  and  magnified  it  until  it  not  only  colored 
but  dominated  all  his  poetry.  Not  once,  but  a  hundred 
times  (and  with  surprisingly  few  variations)  does  he 
tell  the  story  of  the  faithless  and  calculating  girl  who 
married  not  for  love  but  for  money.  He  becomes  bit- 
ter with  each  thought  of  it;  all  the  Jew  in  him  leaps  up 
in  anger  and  ironic  pathos  whenever  he  thinks  of  what, 
to  any  one  else,  would  have  seemed  no  more  tha*n  a 
youthful  betrayal.  In  what  is  undoubtedly  the  key- 


Preface  ix 

note  to  this  self-inflicted  torture,  he  turns  to  answer 
the  woman,  and,  incidentally,  the  world.  "  Vergiftet 
sind  meine  Lied  erf  "  he  expostulates : — 

"  My  songs,  they  say,  are  poisoned. 

How  else,  love,  could  it  be? 
Thou  hast,  with  deadly  magic, 
Poured  poison  into  me. 

"  My  songs,  they  say,  are  poisoned. 

How  else,  then,  could  it  be? 
I  carry  a  thousand  serpents 
And,  love,  among  them — thee !  " 

And  he  is  characteristically  the  Jew,  not  alone  in  his 
overheated  hatred  but  in  his  equally  hot  and  luxuriant 
desires.;  his  voluptuous  love  of  the  color  and  flavor 
of  things,  his  feverish  imagination  (a  source  of  sharp- 
est pain  as  much  as  of  intense  delight),  his  confident 
egoism — all  of  which  is  as  pronounced  in  the  Jew 
to-day  as  it  is  loudly  proclaimed  in  the  Old  Testament. 
At  one  time  he  writes,  "  The  history  of  the  Jews  is 
tragical ;  and  yet  if  one  were  to  write  about  this  tragedy 
he  would  be  laughed  at.  This  is  the  most  tragic  of 
all."  And,  at  another  time,  he  is  gaily  asserting  the 
Jews'  ancient  and  unconquerable  superiority.  He  hails, 
with  an  almost  personal  pride,  the  superiority  of  a  race 
that  watches  its  proud  contemporaries  with  the  same 
ironic  mixture  of  terror  and  toleration  that  it  watched 
the  once  proud  kingdoms  of  antiquity;  knowing  them 
all  to  be,  like  the  vanished  Egyptians,  Persians,  Romans, 
tyrannical — and  transient.  It  is  this  hand-in-hand- 
with-God  attitude  that  is  behind  Heine.  It  is  the  old 


x  Preface 

confidence  that  makes  him,  even  in  this  slight  and  little- 
known  poem,  express  the  spirit  of  a  race : 

"  What !    Think  you  that  my  flashes  show  me 

Only  in  lightnings  to  excel? 
Believe  me,  friends,  you  do  not  know  me, 
For  I  can  thunder  quite  as  well.  .  .  . 

"  Oaks  shall  be  rent ;  the  Word  shall  shatter- 
Yea,  on  that  fiery  day,  the  Crown, 
Even  the  palace  walls  shall  totter, 

And  domes  and  spires  come  crashing  down !  " 

"  Germany,"  his  greatest  prose  work,  and  "  Pictures 
of  Travel/'  his  most  popular,  are  full  of  the  same 
mingling  of  scholarly  poise  and  boyish  impudence; 
same  abrupt  shifting  from  intense  passion  to  care- 
less, or  careful,  mockery  that  is  never  absent  from  his 
poems.  Time  and  again  he  builds  a  structure  of  the 
deepest  and  most  poignant  emotions  only  to  pull  the 
foundation  from  under  and  let  the  whole  thing  come 
tumbling  down  with  a  flippant  or  ridiculous  last  line. 
Nor  was  this  petulance  a  literary  sham.  Even  on  his 
deathbed,  when  an  officious  priest  advised  him  to  make 
his  peace  with  God  lest  he  die  unforgiven,  "  I  am  not 
worried,"  Heine  said,  "  Dieu  me  pardonnera;  c'est  son 
metier" 

It  is  the  shrug  that  masks  his  agony,  and  one  must 
understand  this  shrug  not  as  an  affectation  but  as  a 
symbol.  It  is  with  a  shock  of  delayed  recognition  that 
we  realize  the  bitter  sharpness  of  so  many  of  the  verses, 
whose  keen  edge  familiarity  has  dulled.  "  You  have 
diamonds  and  pearls;  you  have  all  that  men  desire. 
And  you  have  also  the  fairest  of  blue  eyes — my  love, 


Preface  xi 

what  else  can  you  wish  for  ?  "  Thus,  innocently  begins 
the  famous  "  Du  hast  Diamanten  und  Perlen  " — and 
we  scarcely  think  of  the  poem's  fierce  undercurrent 
because  we  are  hearing  it  for  the  thousandth  time  set 
to  the  genial  measures  of  a  gemuthliche  folk-tune. 

And  it  is  this  very  folk-song  quality,  the  same  spirit 
that  ranks  him  with  Burns,  the  unknown  minstrels  of 
Spain,  and  England's  border  balladists,that  insures  him 
his  permanence  as  a  poet.  Things  like  "  Die  Lorelei," 
"  Du  bist  wie  eine  Blume,"  "  Lehn'  deine  Wang'  an 
meine  Wang'"  and  a  hundred  other  brief  but  over- 
whelming lyrics  are  immortal  for  their  very  obvious- 
ness. They  seem  to  have  nothing  to  do  with  litera- 
ture. One  cannot  trace  their  origin  or  find  their 
beginnings  in  books.  They  seem  an  unconscious  part 
of  the  world's  speech;  as  if  they  always  were — born 
when  the  language  was,  with  none  of  the  labor  of 
the  artist  or  the  file-marks  of  the  craftsman  about 
them. 

And  this,  possibly  more  than  anything  else,  makes 
Heine's  triumph  the  greater;  for  never  were  a  poet's 
results  more  carefully  planned.  Far  from  being  for- 
tuitous, the  slightest  of  his  verses  were  subjected  to  the 
most  minute  and  ceaseless  changes.  To  attain  that 
baffling  and  inevitable  naturalness,  he  would  rewrite 
a  quatrain  as  many  as  six  or  seven  times,  simplifying 
it  with  each  new  version.  No  poet  ever  hated  more 
than  he  the  commonplaces  and  accepted  conventional- 
ities of  poetic  formulae,  the  cliches  and  inversions,  the 
archaisms  and  affectations  that  have  no  relation  to  any- 
thing but  a  stilted  and  sestheticized  literature.  He  was 
in  this  like  Herrick  and  Villon  and  Burns  who,  as 
Synge  points  out,  used  their  daily  speech  and  their 
own  personal  life  as  their  material;  and  the  verse 


xii  Preface 

written  in  this  way  was  read  "  by  strong  men,  and 
thieves,  and  deacons,  not  by  little  cliques  only." 

"Don't  prettify  me!"  Whitman  said  to  Traubel, 
when  told  of  his  intended  biography.  Heine  had  no 
Boswell  to  admonish;  he  was  his  own  commentator. 
And  he  saw  to  it  that  the  world  should  have  no  shiny, 
smooth  and  dressed-up  portrait  of  him ; — in  fact,  he 
uglified  himself.  To  give  a  complete  picture  of  him- 
self as  a  man,  he  overemphasized  his  coarseness,  dwelt 
too  lovingly  on  his  carnal  vices ;  but,  with  all  his  most 
democratic  intentions,  he  found  it  difficult  to  reconcile 
himself  to  the  world  and  impossible  to  reconcile  the 
world  to  him.  His  highest  ambition  was  to  help  build 
a  greater  and  consolidated  Germany — and  his  works 
were  interdicted  in  his  own  country!  He  counted  his 
poetic  gifts  little  beside  his  fervor  for  liberty.  He 
wished  to  be  remembered,  not  so  much  for  his  songs, 
which  gave  their  deathless  impetus  to  Franz,  Jensen, 
Schubert,  and  particularly  to  Schumann  (in  whom 
they  found  not  only  their  greatest  composer  but  their 
most  creative  interpreter),  but  for  his  struggles  toward 
democracy.  These  struggles  and  his  hatred  of  com- 
placent customs  find  expression  in  all  his  essays  no  less 
than  his  verses.  He  was  as  much  disgusted  with  cant 
and  stale  formulae  when  he  found  them  in  politics  as 
when  he  met  them  in  poetry.  As  in  the  prolog  to 
"  The  Harz  Journey,"  he  voices  his  contempt  for  the 
"  laundered  bosoms  "  and  "  polished  salons,"  so  in  all 
his  prose  sketches,  his  reviews  and  even  his  letters,  this 
contempt  gathers  and  grows.  He  longed  for  the  over- 
throw of  smug  respectability,  for  the  end  of  autocracy 
in  government  no  less  than  in  art.  "  It  must  perish," 
he  wrote,  "  it  has  been  judged  and  condemned,  the  old 


Preface  xiii 

social  order — let  it  meet  its  due !  Let  it  be  destroyed, 
the  old  world  where  cynicism  flourished  and  where 
man  was  exploited  by  man.  Let  them  be  utterly  de- 
stroyed, these  whited  sepulchers,  where  lies  and  injus- 
tice have  had  their  dwelling  place."  This  fire  of  en- 
thusiasm, sweeping  through  a  wasted  frame,  almost 
burnt  itself  out.  So  fierce  was  its  vigor  that  Heine 
often  suffered  the  inevitable  revulsion.  Physically  unfit 
to  mingle  with  and  enjoy  crowds,  Heine  by  turns 
distrusted,  feared  and  scorned  the  mob.  He  looked  on 
'  a  communal  future '  with  an  apprehensive  bewilder- 
ment and  misunderstanding  that  even  his  satire  could 
not  disguise.  A  year  before  his  death  he  wrote,  "  I 
can  think  only  with  anxiety  and  terror  of  the  time 
when  these  dark  iconoclasts  will  have  gained  power. 
With  their  horny  hands  they  will  heartlessly  smash  the 
marble  statues  of  beauty  so  dear  to  my  heart.  They 
will  destroy  the  fantastic  toys  and  spangles  of  Art 
which  the  poet  loved  so  much.  They  will  cut  down 
my  grove  of  laurels  and  plant  potatoes  in  their  stead. 
They  will  tear  from  the  soil  of  the  social  order  the 
lilies  that  toil  not  nor  spin.  .  .  .  The  same  fate  will 
befall  the  roses,  those  idle  brides  of  the  nightingales; 
the  nightingales,  those  useless  singers,  will  be  driven 
out — and  alas,  my  '  Book  of  Songs  '  will  be  used  by 
the  grocer  to  make  the  little  paper  bags  in  which  he 
will  wrap  coffee  or  snuff  for  the  old  women  of  the 
future."  But  though  the  possible  triumph  of  thex* 
proletariat  momentarily  distressed  him,  Heine  was  al- 
ways the  impassioned  radical.  Proud  of  being  a  poet, 
he  was  prouder  of  being  a  protagonist.  "  Poetry," 
he  wrote  in  a  triumphant  sort  of  climax,  "  has  always 
been  to  me  a  consecrated  instrument,  a  divine  play- 
thing, as  it  were.  And  if  ye  would  honor  me,  lay  a 


xiv  Preface 

sword  rather  than  a  wreath  upon  my  coffin — for  I  was 
ever  a  fearless  soldier  in  the  war  for  the  liberation  of 
humanity." 

And  this  poet,  who  helped  bring  a  nation  toward 
freedom,  was  born  chained  to  his  race,  and  could  never 
escape  from  himself!  The  paradox  of  his  life  is  the 
thing  that  helps  to  clear  all  the  foregoing  carefully- 
assembled  paradoxes.  Matthew  Arnold  has  expressed 
something  of  it  in  his  "  Heine's  Grave  " : 

"  The  spirit  of  the  world 
Beholding  the  absurdity  of  men — 
Their  vaunts,  their  feats — let  a  sardonic  smile 
For  one  short  moment  wander  o'er  his  lips. 
That  smile  was  Heine !  " 

And  what  made  that  smile  even  more  tragic  was  the 
fact  that  Heine  recognized  it.  Never  for  a  moment 
could  he  forget  how  sardonic  it  was. 


II 

But  one  other  fact  must  be  borne  in  mind  to  under- 
stand Heine  and  his  work — the  fact  of  his  sickness. 
The  sharp  turn  of  his  utterance  was  not  alone  caused 
by  a  mental  twinge,  but  by  a  physical  twist.  Occa- 
sionally, perhaps,  the  spirit  of  the  outcast  Jew  ceased 
suffering.  Not  so  his  body.  That  was  continually  be- 
ing racked  and  tortured.  "  Many  a  time,"  he  wrote  to 
his  friend  Varnhagen  von  Ense,  "  especially  when  the 
pains  shift  about  agonizingly  in  my  spinal  column,  I 
am  moved  to  doubt  whether  man  is  really  a  two-legged 
god,  as  the  late  Professor  Hegel  assured  me  five  and 
twenty  years  ago  in  Berlin.  When  the  harvest  moon 


Preface  xv 

was  up  last  year,  I  had  to  take  to  my  bed,  and  since 
then  I  have  not  risen  from  it  .  .  .  I  am  no  longer  a 
divine  biped ;  I  am  no  longer  '  the  great  Heathen,  num- 
ber 2  '  .  .  .1  am  no  longer  a  joyous  though  slightly 
corpulent  Hellene,  smiling  gaily  down  on  the  melan- 
choly Nazarene.  I  am  now  only  an  etching  of  sorrow, 
an  unhappy  man — a  poor,  sick  Jew." 

If  Heine's  '  spiteful  and  exaggerated  bitterness  '  still 
rouses  any  one's  resentment,  it  should  be  remembered 
that  besides  what  his  doctors  diagnosed  as  "  consump- 
tion of  the  spinal  marrow  "  he  was  afflicted  with  debts 
and  enemies.  Before  he  was  fifty,  he  was  half  blind, 
lame,  without  the  sense  of  taste  or  smell ;  his  lips  were 
paralyzed,  his  ears  were  quick  to  catch  any  discordant 
sound  (for  years  this  sensitivity  had  to  endure  an 
amateur  violinist's  practicing)  and  he  was  desperately 
poor  besides;  misunderstood,  maligned,  defrauded  and 
deceived.1  This  agony,  which  ended  in  an  eight  years' 
crucifixion  on  a  mattress  grave,  was  with  him  from 
the  beginning.  Even  as  a  boy  it  afflicted  him;  it  dis- 
colored his  imagination  and  perverted  his  youthful 
fantasies.  We  see  the  results  of  it  in  the  preternatu- 
rally  gloomy  "  Dream  Pictures  "  and  in  his  "  Youthful 
Sorrows  "  (significant  titles  both !)  written  between  the 
ages  of  sixteen  and  twenty-one.  It  heightened  and  dis- 
torted that  romanticism  which  Heine  alternately  wor- 
shiped and  mocked.  "  The  thousand  years'  reign  of 
Romance  is  over;  "  he  wrote  to  von  Ense.  "  I  myself 
am  its  last  fairy-king."  The  classic  period  had  come 
to  an  end  with  Schiller  and  Goethe,  and  the  Romantic 
school  was  dying  of  its  own  extravagances  and  exag- 
gerations. Kleist,  Riickert,  Uhland,  Wilhelm  Miiller, 
Eichendorff  and  Chamisso,  that  remarkable  Frenchman 
1  Vide  William  Sharp's  "  Heine,"  Chapter  VI. 


xvi  Preface 

who  wrote  more  genuinely  German  poetry  than  most 
of  his  Teutonic  contemporaries,- — all  of  these  were 
loosely  joined  by  the  bonds  of  a  tender  and  patriotic 
romanticism.  With  a  wealth  of  color  and  splendid 
imagery,  Heine  surpassed  the  entire  group ;  using  their 
very  mechanics,  he  wrought  a  strange,  new  music  from 
the  old  material — and  then  proceeded  to  laugh  at  the 
artifice  of  the  entire  structure.  He  utilized,  with  a 
fresh  power  and  a  more  imaginative  realism,  all  of 
the  old  paraphernalia  and  properties  before  discarding 
them.  Sphinxes,  moonlight,  ruined  gardens,  nightin- 
gales, enchanted  roses,  dead  lovers  arisen  from  the 
grave,  wild  horsemen,  dancing  skeletons,  giants,  mer- 
maids, loreleys  and  suicides  appear  and  reappear 
throughout  the  poems;  but  a  keen  sophistication  ap- 
pears with  them.  "  Heine  may  be  said  to  be  the  last 
of  the  celebrated  German  Romantic  School,  the  funeral 
pyre  of  which  he  himself  helped  to  build  up  in  his 
youth,  only  to  set  it  ablaze  later  on  with  the  scorching 
flame  of  his  own  remorseless  wit.  And,  behold,  from 
its  ashes  arose  a  strange  phcenix,  the  anti-romantic  and 
modern  spirit  which  justly  entitles  Heine  to  be  called 
one  of  the  deliverers  of  thought,  the  champion  of  prog- 
ress, and  the  sworn  foe  of  all  stagnation."  x 

This  creative  irreverence,  accompanied  by  a  disillu- 
sioned fantasy  and  often  wanton  caprice,  creeps  into 
all  his  prose.  Sometimes  it  even  overpowers  his  larger, 
political  writings.  But  more  often  it  lifts  and  illumi- 
nates them.  Heine's  individual  quality  pervades  and 
flavors  his  voluminous  works,  whether  he  is  recording 
local  French  affairs,  writing  essays  on  '  Shakespeare's 
Maiden  and  Women,'  jotting  down  journalistic 

1  From  Kate  Freiligrath  Kroeker's'  "  Memoir  "  in  her  "  Poems 
selected  from  Heine." 


Preface  xvii 

sketches  of  England,  reviewing  a  musical  season,  criti- 
cizing the  French  Salon,  satirizing  German  literature 
and  German  thought,  inditing  venomous  letters  or  pen- 
ning a  series  of  exquisite  and  immortal  travel-pictures. 
The  sardonic  flashes,  the  exuberant  fancy,  the  interplay 
of  philosophy  and  wit  makes  all  he  wrote  pungent. 
But  it  was  the  poet  in  him  that  makes  it  poignant.  • 

III. 

This  poignancy  is  naturally  at  its  deepest  when 
Heine's  role  was  his  natural  self ;  in  his  poems.  And, 
at  the  risk  of  being  redundant,  I  repeat  that  one  must 
continually  keep  in  mind  Heine's  life  and  his  love- 
story  to  understand  his  poetry  to  the  fullest.  For 
(and  here  lies  the  greatest  difficulty  for  the  trans- 
lator) his  apparent  simplicity  often  hides  an  inverted 
introspection.  Most  of  the  poems  only  half  express 
his  meaning;  sometimes  they  do  not  actually  express 
it  at  all.  Morbidly  sensitive  and  secretive  in  his  life, 
Heine  was  equally  so  in  his  verse;  time  and  again  he 
makes  his  lines  talk  around  his  thought  rather  than  on 
it.  Even  the  simplest  and  most  apparently  obvious  of 
the  love-songs  have  a  hidden  suggestion  far  deeper  than 
their  naivete.  See,  for  a  few  varied  examples  in  "  Die 
Heimkehr"  alone,  Number  4  (Im  W 'aide  wandl'  ich 
und  weine),  Number  28  (Was  will  die  einsame 
Thrane)  and  the  often  translated  classic  Number  47 
(Du  bist  wie  eine  Blume).  This  last,  for  instance,  is 
not  the  bland,  sentimental  love-song  that  it  is  so  often 
taken  for.  In  the  first  place,  it  should  be  evident 
from  the  context,  no  less  than  its  content,  that  it  is 
not  addressed  to  any  sweetheart  but  to  a  very  young 
girl,  possibly  a  child.  Seeing  the  innocent  beauty  of 


xviii  Preface 

this  flower-like  creature  (so  hold  und  schon  und  rein) 
he  longs  to  lay  his  hands  on  her  forehead,  and  pray 
God  to  keep  her  always  as  at  present,  "  so  sweet, 
so  fair  and  pure."  One  can  almost  hear  Heine  taking 
a  breath  in  his  last  line;  as  if,  with  a  half -pathetic, 
half-cynical  perception,  he  realized  the  fragility  of 
innocence,  and  remembered  how  beauty  and  purity 
had  betrayed  him. 

Always  this  one  note  possessed  and  obsessed  him. 
Heine  was  constantly  pulling  himself  up  to  check  and 
disguise  it,  even  in  the  midst  of  his  singing.  Then 
would  come  the  inevitable  reaction — the  rush  from 
one  extreme  to  the  other;  from  circumlocutory  ret- 
icence to  eager  and  complete  explanation.  Such  out- 
pourings of  frank  revelation  occur  almost  regularly; 
they  are  placed  like  sign-posts  at  the  beginning  and 
end  of  all  his  sequences.  He  becomes  distrustful  of 
even  his  most  direct  symbols,  and,  apprehensive  lest 
his  readers  may  not  understand  all  of  him,  he  inter- 
rupts his  series  to  plead,  explain  and  almost  to  apolo- 
gize for  himself  and  his  preoccupation  with  his  sor- 
row. Such  a  realization  is  the  reason  for  the  lyric 
prologues  to  the  "  Lyrisches  Intermezzo  "  and  "  Die 
Heimkehr"  and  the  strange  interruption  of  Number 
43  in  the  latter  series  (Werdet  nur  nicht  ungeduldig) 
with  Heine's  personal  appeal  for  the  reader's  pa- 
tience. .  .  .  And  then  the  thought  of  his  lost  beloved 
and  her  deception  overwhelms  him  again!  And  back 
he  runs  to  the  dark  chamber  of  his  introspective  gloom. 

How  constant  was  this  thought  of  his  betrayal,  his 
eternal  '  brooding  on  the  addled  eggs  of  passion/  may 
best  be  seen  by  a  perusal  of  " Die  Heimkehr"  As  in 
the  "Lyrisches  Intermezzo"  so  here  he  rings*  the 
changes  on  the  one  theme — with  very  few  changes. 


Preface  xix 

But  a  new  poignancy  enters ;  a  sharper  lyricism  caused 
by  Heine's  attempts  to  forget  his  sadness,  and  the 
realization  of  his  inability  to  do  so.  Early  in  1822,  at 
the  age  of  twenty-three,  Heine  had  published  his 
'  Lyrical  Intermezzo,'  that  burst  of  ineluctable  beauty, 
in  which  he  had  poured  his  grief  and,  he  hoped,  had 
buried  it.  A  year  later  he  went  to  Hamburg,  the  city 
which  he  hated,  where  he  had  loved  and  lost  his 
Amalie;  and  although  two  years  had  passed  since  she 
had  married,  and  although  he  had  presumably  written 
himself  out  of  his  old  mood,  the  torments  broke  forth 
afresh.  Every  familiar  street,  every  old  acquaintance, 
every  well-known  turn,  fascinated  and  tore  him. 
Racked  in  soul  and  body  ( for  his  headaches  were  get- 
ting more  and  more  acute)  he  went  to  Cuxhaven  for 
a  six  weeks'  stay,  where  the  fresh  salt  winds  of  the 
North  Sea  temporarily  soothed  and  the  new  environ- 
ment inspired  him.  The  outcome  of  all  this  was 
'  The  Home-Coming,'  with  its  shifting  backgrounds  of 
his  "  verdammtes  Hamburg  "  and  his  beloved  ocean. 
Time  and  again  he  shows  in  this  cycle  his  effort  to 
escape  from  the  painful  memories  and  the  fresh  bit- 
terness awakened  by  his  visit;  he  tries  to  forget  him- 
self in  his  passion  for  the  sea  or  in  brief  and  spas- 
modic love-affairs,  but  without  success.  After  these 
brilliant  interruptions,  he  is  back  at  his  old  theme; 
despondent,  tender,  coarse,  mocking,  brutal,  unforgiv- 
ing— hugging  always  to  his  bosom  the  torture  of  his 
unhappy  love. 

IV. 

In  these  translations  I  have  endeavored,  by  the 
selections  chosen,  to  show  Heine's  lyrical  power  not 
only  at  its  best  but  at  its  most  characteristic.  For  this 


xx  Preface 

reason  I  have  included  many  poems  usually  glossed 
over  by  his  translators ;  poems  that  are  trivial  enough 
in  themselves,  but  necessary  to  the  series  that  con- 
tains them,  and  necessary  also  to  a  complete  appre- 
ciation of  Heine's  development.  I  have  translated 
the  '  Lyrical  Intermezzo  '  in  its  entirety,  and  prac- 
tically all  of  '  The  Home-Coming/  the  two  cycles  that 
represent  the  poet  at  his  height.  I  have  also  included 
most  of  '  The  North  Sea  '  poems  which,  though  not 
always  lyric,  have  the  sweep  of  the  sea  itself,  a  defi- 
nitely musical  surge  that  one  finds  in  some  of  the  best 
polyrhythmical  lines  of  Whitman  and  the  unrhymed 
*  voluntaries  '  of  Henley.  Instead  of  "  approaching 
perilously  near  ungainly  prose  "  (John  Todhunter's 
incredible  dictum)  these  precursors  of  modern  vers- 
libre  have  the  sonorous  dignity  of  blank  verse  blended 
with  the  sudden  lift  and  music  of  a  snatch  of  song. 

To  digress  technically  for  a  moment,  possibly  the 
English  paraphraser's  greatest  difficulty  in  translating 
German  poetry  is  the  use  of  "  du  "  and  "  sie"  To 
use  "  thou "  for  "  du "  often  gives  a  falsely  old- 
fashioned  and  stilted  ring  to  the  entire  poem,  while 
"  you  "  is  likely  to  be  abrupt  and  too  colloquial.  In 
Heine,  the  problem  is  complicated,  for  he  himself  often 
uses  the  more  intimate  personal  pronoun  ironically  or, 
for  certain  wilful  effects,  archaically.  I  have  ventured 
to  employ  both  pronouns  without  any  fixed  program; 
using  "  thou  "  and  "  you  "  interchangeably  wherever 
it  seemed  to  fit  the  context  and  Heine's  purpose  best. 
We  have  in  English  no  method  of  showing  the  shade 
of  difference  between  the  German  two,  and  it  is  be- 
cause of  this  (and  incidentally  because  of  an  astonish- 
ing misconception  of  the  poems  themselves)  that  so 
many  of  Heine's  translators  have  entirely  missed  the 


Preface  xxi 

point  of  several  poems,  which  bear  a  piercing  reminder 
or  a  sarcasm  subtler  and  more  stinging  than  a  column 
of  invectives.  Examine  the  lyric  Number  27  from 
'  The  Home-Coming  '  beginning  "  Die  Jahre  kommen 
und  gehen"  The  last  quatrain  runs : 

Nur  einmal  mdcht  ich  dich  sehen, 
Und  sinken  vor  dir  aufs  Knie; 

Und  sterbend  zu  dir  sprechen: 
"Madam,  ich  Hebe  sie!" 

"  Madam,  I  love  but  you,"  Todhunter  ineffectually 
concludes.  Even  Mrs.  Browning,  possibly  due  to  her 
ignorance  of  German,  rendered  it,  "  Lady,  I  love  but 
thee."  And  another  translator,  surpassing  them  all  in 
incomprehension  of  the  last  line,  turns  Heine's  bitterest 
irony  into  maudlin  sentiment.  Thus  Robert  Levy : 

"  Oh,  that  I  once  might  see  you, 
Kneel  to  you!    Then  would  I 
Say :  '  Lady  mine,  I  love  you ! ' 
And  speaking  so,  would  die." 

In  this  lyric,  as  in  two  or  three  others  where  Heine 
depends  on  a  pun  for  his  satire,  I  have  had  to  recon- 
struct the  lines  and  use  a  phrase  totally  unlike  the  Ger- 
man to  carry  out  a  particular  effect.  This  is  also  half 
true  of  the  almost  baffling  Number  30  in  the  '  Lyrical 
Intermezzo.'  Here  Heine,  in  an  effort  to  achieve  a 
light  ironic  emphasis,  employs  a  series  of  French 
derivatives  with  a  single  rhyme  scheme.  As  embody- 
ing these  intact  would  leave  part  of  the  verses  untrans- 
lated, without  even  approximating  Heine's  purpose 
(for  the  use  of  French  is  not,  as  it  was  with  the  Ger- 


xxii  Preface 

man  writers,  a  superelegance  of  language),  I  have 
paraphrased  them  all,  depending  on  a  series  of  the  same 
double  rhymes  for  a  similar  half -satirical  end. 

As  to  the  rhymes  throughout  the  book,  I  have  fol- 
lowed Heine  exactly.  With  one  or  two  exceptions, 
I  have  reproduced  the  masculine  and  feminine  rhymes 
as  they  appear  in  the  original.  Certain  effects  of 
humor  and  speed  are  only  possible  this  way.  And, 
although  the  single  rhyme  is  the  more  natural  and  fre- 
quent in  English  poetry  while  it  is  almost  the  reverse 
in  German,  I  felt  it  imperative  to  preserve  Heine's 
own  form,  both  for  the  sake  of  the  reader  and  in  an 
attempt  to  echo  some  of  the  music.  I  regret  that  in 
many  cases,  particularly  in  the  very  simplest  of  the 
lyrics,  that  exquisite  and  fragile  music  has  been  broken. 
Many  of  his  poems,  while  wholly  colloquial  in  speech 
and  casual  and  even  trite  in  idea,  are  transmuted  into 
magic  by  their  word-music  and  the  perfection  of  vowel 
and  consonant  sound.  Such  properties  cannot  be  trans- 
planted— the  sense  can  be  captured,  the  magic  inevi- 
tably escapes.  I  would  suggest  that,  having  ascer- 
tained the  meaning,  the  reader  take  up  the  German 
and  read  the  original  for  the  virgin  beauty,  the  color 
and  cadence  of  the  melodic  line.  For  the  reader  of 
German,  even  for  one  who  has  but  a  smattering  of  the 
tongue,  this  suggestion  would  be  an  impertinence.  He 
already  knows  that  Heine,  unadulterated  and  unde- 
filed,  can  only  be  had  from  Heine's  own  pages. 

It  is  only  in  the  hope  of  bringing  the  English  reader 
closer  to  the  source  that  these  translations  have  been 
prepared.  They  furnish  the  key  to  the  paradox  of 
Heine ;  they  are  the  words,  if  not  the  music  to  some  of 
his  immortal  opera.  And  to  instil  in  the  listener 
an  understanding  of  the  masterpiece  is  the  aim  and 


Preface  xxiii 

hope  of  a  libretto.     It  is  a  high  purpose;  and  I  will 
be  proud  if  this  version  fulfils  a  part  of  it. 

L.  U. 

New  York  City, 
July, 


NOTE  :  For  all  of  the  translations  from  "  The  Book 
of  Songs  "  and  "  New  Poems  "  I  have  used  the  editions 
of  Carl  Krabbe  published  in  Stuttgart,  as  they  seemed 
more  complete  and  the  individual  cycles  better  arranged 
than  in  the  subsequent  and  more  sumptuous  formats. 
For  the  balance  of  the  poems  (The  Romancero,  The 
Lamentations,  etc.)  I  have  used  "  Der  Tempe!"  edition, 
published  in  Leipzig. 


INTRODUCTION  TO   THE   REVISED 
EDITION 

The  first  edition  of  this  volume  could  not  have  been 
published  at  a  more  inopportune  moment.  It  appeared 
almost  simultaneously  with  America's  entry  into  the 
World  War  and,  for  a  while,  shared  the  patriotic  hate 
which  was  lavished  on  everything  connected  with  Ger- 
man culture — no  matter  how  remote  the  era  and  no 
matter  how  antagonistic  the  dead  creator  may  have 
been  to  the  German  politics  of  his  period.  Thus 
Wagner — who,  because  of  his  leadership  in  the  po- 
litical agitation  preceding  the  revolution  of  1848,  was 
forced  to  leave  Germany — was  suddenly  banished  from 
our  opera-houses ;  singers  who  attempted  excerpts  from 
his  works  were  hissed  from  the  concert-stage  and, 
though  the  armistice  was  signed  almost  five  years  ago, 
the  greatest  of  his  music-dramas,  Gotterddmmerung 
and  Meister singer,  needed  a  foreign  Wagner  Festival 
to  revive  them  here  in  1923.  The  public  interest  in 
poetry  being  less  violent,  there  was  considerably  less 
outcry,  though  there  were  various  protests  when 
translations  from  the  German  appeared  during  the  fev- 
erish hours  of  suspicion  and  spy-hunting.  And  yet  the 
fact  that  Heine's  bitter  opposition  to  the  Hohenzol- 
lerns  compelled  him  to  live  in  exile  in  Paris  did  not 
save  his  work  from  being  wilfully  misinterpreted. 
This  misunderstanding  is  neither  new  nor  surprising. 
But,  as  a  rule,  the  process  of  distortion  has  been  char- 
acteristic of  Heine's  translators  rather  than  his  critics. 
There  is,  in  most  of  the  Heine  reproductions,  a  lack  of 


Introduction  to  the  Revised  Edition 

something  that  is  more  fundamental  than  erudition  or 
accuracy.  This  vital  quality  which  is  missing  is  not 
merely  rhythmical  ease,  or  verbal  grace,  or  virtuosity, 
but  a  misapprehension,  almost  an  ignorance,  of  the 
spirit  behind  the  words.  Or,  instead  of  ignorance,  let 
me  say  it  is  distaste.  Not  conscious  repugnance  ex- 
actly ;  but  a  desire  not  to  see  what  seems  to  be  vulgar 
or  petty  or  painful  in  Heine,  an  effort  to  turn  his  rude 
laughter  into  refined  badinage — in  short,  to  prettify 
him  into  a  pseudo-romantic,  graceful  and  usually  senti- 
mental lyric  poet.  These  interpreters  attempt  to  ap- 
preciate the  poems  of  Heine  without  appreciating 
Heine  himself.  And  in  their  failure  to  approximate 
or  even  to  want  to  understand  the  man,  lies  the  secret 
of  their  failure  to  understand  the  poet  and  the  poet's 
work. 

This  refusal  to  accept  Heine  as  he  was,  with  his 
mockery,  his  outspokenness,  his  bursts  of  coarseness 
and  pain  interrupting  his  most  limpid  and  ethereal  mo- 
ments, is  the  reason  why  many  of  the  versions  are, 
even  when  they  are  fairly  readable,  scarcely  reliable. 
Most  of  the  translators  have  taken  up  the  work  in  their 
best  academic  manner.  They  have  approached  Heine 
not  only  as  pedagogs,  but  as  pedagogs  confronted  with 
a  talented,  ill-behaved  and  generally  inexplicable  un- 
dergraduate. Here  and  there,  a  kindly  professor  has 
blinked  an  eye  rather  than  witness  an  undignified 
prank ;  another  has  closed  his  ears  to  episodes  too  bitter 
'or  racy  for  the  class-room.  But  the  attitude  has  been 
almost  always  that  of  smiling,  superior  disapproval. 
Either  they  condemned  Heine's  own  utterances  with 
silence  or  negated  them  with  corrective  notes  and  ex- 
planatory apologies.  Unable,  by  their  soft  and  cdddled 
traditions,  to  face  the  storm  of  Heine's  mood — his  wild 


Introduction  to  the  Revised  Edition 

mixture  of  naivete  and  disillusion,  of  tenderness  and 
brutality — they  slurred  over  and  devitalized  whatever 
was  too  rude  or  untutored  for  their  precise  tastes.  The 
result  is  the  usual  tasteless  volume  with  nothing  to 
remind  one  of  the  original  but  the  bare  design  of  a 
story,  an  occasionally  brilliant  line  buried  in  banalities, 
a  sense  of  something  struggling  beneath  a  weight  of 
scholasticism,  mawkish  metaphors  and  a  few  hundred 
tortured  inversions. 

The  present  revised  edition  owes  many  of  its  changes 
to  a  friendly  controversy  with  Professor  Otto  Heller 
and  the  excellent  example  of  Howard  Mum  ford  Jones, 
whose  version  of  The  North  Sea  is  remarkable  for  its 
triumphs  over  innumerable  technical  difficulties.  I  re- 
peat, recognizing  the  great  difference  in  tonal  values  of 
the  two  languages,  that  this  English  translation  is  little 
more  than  the  "  book  of  the  opera,"  that  Heine's  music 
can  only  be  heard  in  the  original  German.  Heine's 
spirit,  however,  is  somewhat  less  dependent  on  the 
felicities  of  tone  and,  if  this  writer's  synthesis  of 
Heine's  peculiar  philosophy  in  his  own  "  Monolog 
from  a  Mattress  "  is  a  piece  of  poetic  liberty,  the  present 
translator  can  claim  not  only  a  spiritual  but  a  racial 
kinship  with  the  most  sentimentally  sardonic  of 
lyricists.  The  claim  to  such  a  kinship  is  advanced  to 
give  color  to  the  writer's  interpretation,  not  to  avoid 
responsibility  for  the  weaknesses  in  paraphrasing. 
There  is  no  need  for  me  to  dwell  on  the  inevitable 
lapses.  To  discover  them,  the  reader  will,  unfortu- 
nately, not  require  my  assistance. 

L.  U. 

March,  1923. 


MONOLOG   FROM   A   MATTRESS 

Heinrich  Heine  <ztat  $6,  loquitur: 

Can  that  be  you,  la  mouchef    Wait  till  I  lift 

This  palsied  eye-lid  and  make  sure.  .  .  .  Ah,  true. 

Come  in,  dear  fly,  and  pardon  my  delay 

In  thus  existing;  I  can  promise  you 

Next  time  you  come  you'll  find  no  dying  poet — 

Without  sufficient  spleen  to  see  me  through, 

The  joke  becomes  too  tedious  a  jest. 

I  am  afraid  my  mind  is  dull  to-day ; 

I  have  that — something — heavier  on  my  chest 

And  then,  you  see,  I've  been  exchanging  thoughts 

With  Doctor  Franz.    He  talked  of  Kant  and  Hegel 

As  though  he'd  nursed  them  both  through  whooping 

cough 

And,  as  he  left,  he  let  his  finger  shake 
Too  playfully,  as  though  to  say,  "  Now  off 
With  that  long  face — you've  years  and  years  to  live." 
I  think  he  thinks  so.    But,  for  Heaven's  sake, 
Don't  credit  it — and  never  tell  Mathilde. 
Poor  dear,  she  has  enough  to  bear  already.  .  .  . 

This  w as  a  month !    During  my  lonely  weeks 

One  person  actually  climbed  the  stairs 

To  seek  a  cripple.    It  was  Berlioz — 

But  Berlioz  always  was  original. 

Meissner  was  also  here;  he  caught  me  unawares, 

Scribbling  to  my  old  mother.    "  What !  "  he  cried, 

"  Is  the  old  lady  of  the  Dammthor  still  alive? 

And  do  you  write  her  still  ?  "    "  Each  month  or  so." 


Monolog  from  a  Mattress 

"  And  is  she  not  unhappy  then,  to  find 

How   wretched   you   must   be?"     "How    can    she 

know  ? 

You  see,"  I  laughed,  "  she  thinks  I  am  as  well 
As  when  she  saw  me  last.     She  is  too  blind 
To  read  the  papers — some  one  else  must  tell 
What's  in  my  letters,  merely  signed  by  me. 
Thus  she  is  happy.    For  the  rest — 
That  any  son  should  be  as  sick  as  I, 
No  mother  could  believe." 

Ja,  so  it  goes. 

Come  here,  my  lotus-flower.     It  is  best 

I  drop  the  mask  to-day;  the  half -cracked  shield 

Of  mockery  calls  for  younger  hands  to  wield. 

Laugh — or  I'll  hug  it  closer  to  my  breast. 

So  ...  I  can  be  as  mawkish  as  I  choose 

And  give  my  thoughts  an  airing,  let  them  loose 

For  one  last  rambling  stroll  before —     Now  look ! 

Why  tears  ?    You  never  heard  me  say  "  the  end." 

Before  .  .  .  before  I  clap  them  in  a  book 

And  so  get  rid  of  them  once  and  for  all. 

This  is  their  holiday — we'll  let  them  run — 

Some  have  escaped  already.    There  goes  one  .  .  . 

What,  I  have  often  mused,  did  Goethe  mean  ? 

So  many  years  ago  at  Weimar,  Goethe  said 

"  Heine  has  all  the  poet's  gifts  but  love." 

Good  God !     But  that  is  all  I  ever  had. 

More  than  enough !    So  much  of  love  to  give 

That  no  one  gave  me  any  in  return. 

And  so  I  flashed  and  snapped  in  my  own  fires 

Until  I  stood,  with  nothing  left  to  burn, 

A  twisted  trunk,  in  chilly  isolation. 

Ein  Fichtenbaum  steht  einsam — you  recall? 


Monolog  from  a  Mattress 

I  was  that  Northern  tree  and,  in  the  South, 
Amalia  ...  So  I  turned  tp  scornful  cries, 
Hot  iron  songs  to  save  the  rest  of  me; 
Plunging  the  brand  in  my  own  misery. 
Crouching  behind  my  pointed  wall  of  words, 
Ramparts  I  built  of  moons  and  loreleys, 
Enchanted  roses,  sphinxes,  love-sick  birds, 
Giants,  dead  lads  who  left  their  graves  to  dance, 
Fairies  and  phoenixes  and  friendly  gods — 
A  curious  frieze,  half  Renaissance,  half  Greek, 
Behind  which,  in  revulsion  of  romance, 
I  lay  and  laughed — and  wept — till  I  was  weak. 
Words  were  my  shelter,  words  my  one  escape. 
Words  were  my  weapons  against  everything. 
Was  I  not  once  the  son  of  Revolution? 
Give  me  the  lyre,  I  said,  and  let  me  sing 
My  song  of  battle  :  Words  like  furious  stars 
Shot  down  with  power  to  burn  the  palaces; 
Words  like  bright  javelins  to  fly  with  fierce 
Hate  of  the  oily  Philistines  and  glide 
Through  all  the  seven  heavens  till  they  pierce 
The  pious  hypocrites  who  dare  to  creep 
Into  the  Holy  Places.    "  Then,"  I  cried, 
"  I  am  a  fire  to  rend  and  roar  and  leap ; 
I  am  all  joy  and  song,  all  sword  and  flame!  " 
Ha — you  observe  me  passionate.     I  aim 
To  curb  these  wild  emotions  lest  they  soar 
Or  drive  against  my  will.     (So  I  have  said 
These  many  years — and  still  they  are  not  tame.) 
Scraps  of  a  song  keep  rumbling  in  my  head  .  .  . 
Listen — you  never  heard  me  sing  before. 


Monolog  from  a  Mattress 

When  a  false  world  betrays  your  trust 

And  stamps  upon  your  fire, 
When  what  seemed  blood  is  only  rust, 

Take  up  the  lyre ! 

How  quickly  the  heroic  mood 

Responds  to  its  own  ringing; 
The  scornful  heart,  the  angry  blood 

Leap  upward,  singing! 

Ah,  that  was  how  it  used  to  be.    But  now, 

Du  schoner  Todesengel,  it  is  odd 

How  more  than  calm  I  am.    Franz  said  it  shows 

Power  of  religion,  and  it  does,  perhaps — 

Religion  or  morphine  or  poultices — God  knows. 

I  sometimes  have  a  sentimental  lapse 

And  long  for  saviours  and  a  physical  God. 

When  health  is  all  used  up,  when  money  goes, 

When  courage  cracks  and  leaves  a  shattered  will, 

Then  Christianity  begins.    For  a  sick  Jew, 

It  is  a  very  good  religion  .  .  .  Still, 

I  fear  that  I  will  die  as  I  have  lived, 

A  long-nosed  heathen  playing  with  his  scars, 

A  pagan  killed  by  weltschmerz  ...  I  remember, 

Once  when  I  stood  with  Hegel  at  a  window, 

I,  being  full  of  bubbling  youth  and  coffee, 

Spoke  in  symbolic  tropes  about  the  stars. 

Something  I  said  about  "  those  high 

Abodes  of  all  the  blest "  provoked  his  temper. 

"  Abodes  ?    The  stars  ?  "    He  froze  me  with  a  sneer, 

"  A  light  eruption  on  the  firmament." 

"  But,"  cried  romantic  I,  "  is  there  no  sphere 

Where  virtue  is  rewarded  when  we  die  ?  " 

And  Hegel  mocked,  "  A  very  pleasant  whim. 


Monolog  from  a  Mattress 

So  you  demand  a  bonus  since  you  spent 

One  lifetime  and  refrained  from  poisoning 

Your  testy  grandmother !  "  .  .  .  How  much  of  him 

Remains  in  me — even  when  I  am  caught 

In  dreams  of  death  and  immortality. 

To  be  eternal — what  a  brilliant  thought ! 

It  must  have  been  conceived  and  coddled  first 

By  some  old  shopkeeper  in  Nuremberg, 

His  slippers  warm,  his  children  amply  nursed, 

Who,  with  his  lighted  meerschaum  in  his  hand, 

His  nightcap  on  his  head,  one  summer  night 

Sat  drowsing  at  his  door.    And  mused,  how  grand 

If  all  of  this  could  last  beyond  a  doubt — 

This  well-fed  moon,  this  plump  gemiithlichkeit ; 

Pipe,  breath  and  summer  never  going  out — 

To  vegetate  through  all  eternity  .  .  . 

But  no  such  everlastingness  for  me ! 

God,  if  he  can,  keep  me  from  such  a  blight. 

Death,  it  is  but  the  long,  cool  night, 
And  Life's  a  dull  and  sultry  day. 
It  darkens;  I  grow  drowsy; 

I  am  weary  of  the  light. 

Over  my  bed  a  strange  tree  gleams 

And  there  a  nightingale  is  loud. 

She  sings  of  love,  love  only  .  .  . 
I  hear  it,  even  in  dreams. 

My  Mouche,  the  other  day  as  I  lay  here, 
Slightly  propped  up  upon  this  mattress-grave 
In  which  I've  been  interred  these  few  eight  years, 
I  saw  a  dog,  a  little  pampered  slave, 


Monolog  from  a  Mattress 

Running  about  and  barking.    I  would  have  given 

Heaven  could  I  have  been  that  dog;  to  thrive 

Like  him,  so  senseless — and  so  much  alive ! 

And  once  I  called  myself  a  blithe  Hellene, 

Who  am  too  much  in  love  with  life  to  live. 

(The  shrug  is  pure  Hebraic)   .  .  .  For  what  I've 

been, 

A  lenient  Lord  will  tax  me — and  forgive. 
Dieu  me  pardonnera — c'est  son  metier. 
But  this  is  jesting.     There  are  other  scandals 
You  haven't  heard.  .  .  .  Can  it  be  dusk  so  soon? 
Or  is  this  deeper  darkness  .  .  .  ?    Is  that  you, 
Mother?     How    did   you   come?     Where    are   the 

candles?  .  .  . 

Over  my  bed  a  strange  tree  gleams — half  filled 
With  stars  and  birds  whose  white  notes  glimmer 

through 

Its  seven  branches  now  that  all  is  stilled. 
What  ?    Friday  night  again  and  all  my  songs 
Forgotten?    Wait  ...  I  still  can  sing — 
Stima  Yisroel  Adonai  Elohenu, 
Adonai  Echod  .  .  . 

Mouche  .  .  .  Mathilde!  .  .  . 

Louis  UNTERMEYER. 


CONTENTS 

PAGE 

PREFACE          v 

BOOK    OF    SONGS 
Preface  to  the  Third  Edition  of  Buck  der  Lieder  ...        3 

YOUNG  SORROWS 

I  dreamt  I  saw  a  dwarf  in  dapper  clothing 

Im  Traum  sah  ich  ein  Mdnnchen,  klein  und  putzig  .  g 
Why  is  my  mad  blood  rushing  so? 

Was  treibt  und  tobt  mein  tolles  Blutf 9 

I  came  from  my  true  love's  house  and  stood 

Ich  kam  von  meiner  Herrin  Haus II 

I  lay  and  slept,  and  slept  right  well 

Ich  lag  und  schlief,  und  schlief  recht  mild  .       .       .       .      17 

SONGS 

When  I  am  with  my  own  adored 

Wenn  ich  bei  meiner  Liebsten  bin 21 

Mornings  I  arise  and  wonder 

Morgens  steh'  ich  auf  und  frage 21 

It  drives  me  here,  it  drives  me  there 

Es  treibt  mich  hin,  es  treibt  mich  her!  .  .  .  .21 
I  wandered  under  the  branches 

Ich  wandelte  unter  den  Baumen 22 

Beloved,  lay  your  hand  on  my  heart  in  its  gloom 

Lieb  Liebchen,  leg's  Handchen  aufs  Herze  mein  .  .  23 
I  wish  that  all  my  love-songs 

Ich  wollte,  meine  Lieder 23 

Lovely  cradle  of  my  sorrow 

Schone  Wiege  meiner  Leiden .  .  24 

Hill  and  hall  are  mirrored  brightly 

Berg'  und  Burgen  schaun  herunter 25 

I  despaired  at  first,  declaring 

Anfangs  wollt'  ich  fast  verzagen 25 

When  young  hearts  break  with  passion 

Wenn  junge  Herzen  brechen  .  26 

XXV 


xxvi  Contents 

PAGE 

There's  green  on  the  meadow  and  river 

Die  W  alder  und  F elder  griinen 26 

I  shall  go  and  walk  in  the  woods  a  space 

Ich  will  tnich  im  griinen  Wald  ergehn  ....  27 
That  I  must  love  you,  Mopser 

Dass  ich  dich  Hebe,  o  Mopschen 27 

THE  NUPTIAL  EVE 28 

Zum  Polterabend 

ROMANCES 

THE  MOUNTAIN  ECHO 

Die  Bergstimme 33 

POOR  PETER 

Der  arme  Peter 34 

THE  GRENADIERS 

Die  Grenadier e 35 

THE  MESSAGE 

Die  Botschaft  .  . 37 

THE  MINNESINGERS 

Die  Minnesanger .38 

THE  WOUNDED  KNIGHT 

Der  wunde  Ritter 39 

THE  LESSON 

Die  Lehre 39 

ABSOLUTELY  ! 

Wahrhaftig! .40 

LYRICAL  INTERMEZZO 

All  my  anguish,  all  my  rages 

Meine  Qual  und  meine  Klagen 43 

PROLOG 

Es  war  mal  ein  Ritter,  triibselig  und  stumm  ...       43 

1.  'Twas  in  the  magic  month  of  May 

Im  wunderschonen  Monat  Mai 45 

2.  Out  of  my  tears  and  sorrows 

Aus  meinen  Thrdnen  spriessen 45 

3.  The  rose  and  the  lily,  the  dove  and  the  sun 

Die  Rose,  die  Lilje,  die  Taube,  die  Sonne  ...       46 

4.  Whene'er  I  gaze  into  thine  eyes 

Wenn  ich  in  deine  Augen  seh' 46 

5.  Your  face  so  sweet  and  fair,  it  seems 

Dein  Angesicht,  so  lieb  und  schon      .       .       .     »..       46 


Contents  xxvii 

PAGE 

6.  Oh  lean  thy  cheek  upon  my  cheek 

Lehn'  deine  Wang'  an  meine  Wang'  ....       47 

7.  I  will  baptize  my  spirit 

Ich  will  meine  Seele  tauchen  ......       47 

8.  Immovable  for  ages 

Es  stehen  unbeweglich 47 

9.  On  the  wings  of  Song,  my  dearest, 

Auf  Flugeln  des  Gesanges 48 

- 10.   The  lotus-flower  cowers 

Die  Lotosblume  dngstigt 49 

11.  In  the  Rhine,  that  stream  of  wonder 

Im  Rhein,  im  schonen  Strome 49 

12.  You  love  me  not — you  love  me  not 

Du  liebst  mich  nicht,  du  liebst  mich  nicht  ...       50 

13.  O  come,  love — now  I  resign  me 

Du  sollst  mich  liebend  umschliessen   ....       50 

14.  O  kiss  me,  love,  and  never  swear 

O  schwore  nicht  und  kusse  nur 51 

15.  Upon  my  dearest's  little  eyes 

Auf  meiner  Herzliebsten  Augelein       ....       51 

16.  The  world  is  dull,  the  world  is  blind 

Die  Welt  ist  dumm,  die  Welt  ist  blind  ....      52 

17.  Come,  and  you  shall  tell  me,  dearest 

Liebste,  sollst  mir  heute  sagen: 52 

18.  Like  the  Foam-born,  my  love  glows  in 

Wie  die   Wellenschaumgeborene 53 

19.  I  will  not  mourn  altho'  my  heart  be  torn 

Ich  grolle  nicht,  und  wenn  das  Hers  auch  bricht  .       53 

20.  Yes,  thou  art  wretched,  and  I  do  not  mourn 

Ja,  du  bist  elend,  und  ich  grolle  nicht  ....       54 

21.  Oh  what  a  piping  and  shrilling 

Das  ist  ein  Floten  und  Geigen 54 

22.  So  now  you  have  forgotten  wholly 

So  hast  du  ganz  und  gar  vergessen     ....       55 

23.  And  were  it  made  known  to  the  flowers 

Und  wiissten's  die  Blumen,  die  kleinen        ...       55 

24.  Oh  why  are  all  the  roses  so  pale 

Warum  smd  denn  die  Rosen  so  blass  ....     56 

25.  They  have  told  you  many  stories 

Sie  haben  dir  viel  erzdhlet 56 

26.  The  linden  bloomed  and  the  nightingale  sang 

Die  Linde  bliihte,  die  Nachtigall  sang  ....       57 

27.  How  deep  we  were  wrapped  in  each  other's  life 

Wir  haben  viel  fur  einander  gefuhlt  .       .       .       .       58 


xxviii  Contents 

PAGE 

28.  I  have  no  faith  in  Heaven 

Ich  glaub'  nicht  an  den  Himmel 58 

29.  You  were  steadfast  and  true  the  longest 

Du  bleibest  mir  treu  am  Idngsten 59 

30.  The  earth  kept  hoarding  up  its  treasure 

Die  Erde  war  so  lange  geizig 59 

31.  And  thus,  as  I  wasted  so  many  a  day 

Und  als  ich  so  lange,  so  lange  gesdumt        ...      60 

32.  The  violets  blue  which  are  her  eyes 

Die  blauen  Veilchen  der  Augelein 60 

33.  The  world  is  so  fair  and  the  heavens  so  blue 

Die  Welt  ist  so  schon  und  der  Himmel  so  blau        .      60 

34.  Love,  when  you  sink  where  darkness  lies 

Mem  susses  Lieb,  wenn  du  im  Grab  61 

•35-    A  pine  tree  stands  so  lonely 

Ein  Fichtenbaum  steht  einsam 61 

36.  Stars,  with  fair  and  golden  ray 

Schone,  helle,  goldne  Sterne 62 

37.  Oh  were  I  but  the  stool  that  she 

Ach,  wenn  ich  nur  der  Schemel  war9  .       .       .       .62 

38.  Since  my  love  and  I  did  part 

Seit  die  Liebste  war  entfernt 63 

39.  From  grief  too  great  to  banish 

Aus  meinen  grossen  Schmersen 63 

40.  It  will  not  die,  but  solely 

Ich  kann  es  nicht  vergessen 63 

41.  Smug  burghers  and  tradesmen  are  tripping 

Philister  in  Sonntagsrocklein 64 

42.  From  graves  of  times  forgotten 

Manch  Bild  vergessener  Zeiten 65 

43.  A  young  man  loves  a  maiden 

Ein  Jungling  licbt  ein  Mddchen 66 

44.  Friendship,  Love,  the  Philosopher's  stone 

Freundschaft,  Liebe,  Stein  der  Weisen      ...      66 

45.  I  hear  an  echo  singing 

Hor'  ich  das  Liedchen  klingen 66 

46.  Now  all  of  the  flowers  are  gazing 

Es  schauen  die  Blumen  alle 67 

47.  I  dreamed  of  the  daughter  of  a  king 

Mir  trdumte  von  einem  Konigskind      ....       67 

48.  My  dearest,  we  nestled  devoted 

Mem  Liebchen,  wir  sassen  beisammen        ...       68 

49.  From  ancient  fairy-stories 

Aus  alien  Mdrchen  winkt  es 68 


Contents  xxix 

PAGE 

50.  I  loved  thee  once — and  I  love  thee  now 

Ich  hab'  dich  geliebet  und  Hebe  dich  noch!       .       .       69 

51.  On  a  radiant  summer  morning 

Am  leuchtenden  Sommermorgcn 70 

52.  My  love  and  its  dark  magic 

Es  leuchtet  meine  Liebe 70 

53.  Many  have  made  me  wretched 

Sie  haben  mich  gequdlet 71 

54.  The  golden  flame  of  Summer 

Es  liegt  der  heisse  Sommer 71 

55-   When  two  who  love  are  parted 

Wenn  zwei  von  emander  scheiden        ....       72 
-  56.    'Twas  tea-time — the  mildly  esthetic 

Sie  sassen  und  tranken  am  Theetisch  ....      72 

57.  My  songs,  they  say,  are  poisoned 

Vergiftet  sind  meine  Lieder 73 

58.  Again  the  old  dream  came  to  me : 

Mir  trdumte  wieder  der  alte  Traum     ....       73 

59.  I  stand  on  the  mountain's  summit 

Ich  steh'  auf  des  Berges  Spitze 74 

60.  My  carriage  rolls  on  slowly 

Mein  Wagen  rollet  langsam 75 

61.  I  wept  as  I  lay  dreaming 

Ich  hab'  im  Traum  geweinet 75 

62.  Beloved,  in  dreams  we  often  meet 

Allnachtlich  im  Traume  seh'  ich  dich         ...       76 

63.  A  howling  storm  is  brewing 

Das  ist  ein  Brausen  und  Heulen 76 

64.  Wild  Autumn  shakes  the  branches 

Der  Herbstwind  ruttelt  die  B'dume      ....      77 
"~  65.   A  star,  a  star  is  falling 

Es  fallt  ein  Stern  herunter 78 

66.  The  Dream-God  led  me  to  a  castle  grim 

Der  Traumgott  bracht'  mich  in  ein  Riesenschloss  .      78 

67.  'Twas  midnight,  still  and  very  cold 

Die  Mitternacht  war  kalt  und  stumm  ....       79 

68.  They  buried  him  at  the  cross-roads 

Am  Kreuzweg  wird  begraben 80 

69.  Now  the  night  grows  deeper,  stronger 

Wo  ich  bin,  mich  rings  umdunkelt      ....      80 

70.  Night  lay  upon  my  eyelids 

Nacht  lag  auf  meinen  Augen 80 

71.  The  songs,  so  old  and  bitter 

Die  alien  bosen  Lieder      .  82 


xxx  Contents 

PAGE 

THE  HOME-COMING 

I.   In  my  life's  enshrouded  darkness 

In  mein  gar  zu  dunkles  Leben 87 

—  2.    I  do  not  know  why  this  confronts  me 

Ich  weiss  nicht,  was  soil  es  bedeuten  ....      87 

3.  My  heart  is  full  of  sorrow 

Mein  Hers,  mein  Herz  ist  traurig        ....      88 

4.  I  pace  the  greenwood,  bitter 

Im  Walde  wandl'  ich  und  weine  .....       89 

5.  The  night  is  wet  and  stormy 

Die  Nacht  ist  feucht  und  sturmisch     ....      90 

6.  By  chance  I -met  on  my  journey 

Als  ich  auf  der  Reise  zufdllig 91 

7.  We  sat  at  the  hut  of  the  fisher 

Wir  sassen  am  Fischerhause 92 

8.  Oh  lovely  fishermaiden 

Du  schones  Fischer  madchen 93 

9.  The  yellow  moon  has  risen 

Der  Mond  ist  aufgegangen 94 

10.  The  moon  is  lying  on  the  clouds 

Auf  den  Wolken  ruht  der  Mond 94 

11.  Wrapped  in  clouds,  as  in  a  mantle 

Eingehiillt  in  graue  Wolken 95 

12.  The  wind  pulls  up  his  water-spouts 

Der  Wind  zieht  seine  Hosen  an 96 

13.  The  storm  tunes  up  for  dancing 

Der  Sturm  spielt  auf  zum  Tanze  .       .       .       .       .      96 

14.  I  pass  your  little  window 

Wenn  ich  an  deinem  Hause 97 

15.  The  vastness  of  the  ocean  shone 

Das  Meer  ergl'dnzte  weit  hinaus 97 

16.  High  up  on  yonder  mountain 

Da  droben  auf  jenem  Berge 98 

17.  My  sweetheart  has  a  lily 

Die  Lilje  meiner  Liebe 99 

18.  Wrapped  in  the  distant  sunset 

Am  fcrnen  Horizonte 99 

19.  Greetings  to  thee,  ob  city 

Set  mir  gegriisst,  du  grosse TOO 

20.  The  old  paths  and  familiar  streets 

So  wandl'  ich  wieder  den  alien  Weg  ....     101 

21.  I  stood  as  in  a  spell  »» 

Ich  trat  in  jene  H alien '  .       .     101 


Contents  xxxi 

PAGE 

22.  The  night  is  still;  the  streets  are  quiet 

Still  ist  die  Nacht,  es  ruhen  die  Gassen      .       .       .     101 

23.  How  can  you  sleep  so  soundly 

Wie  kannst  du  ruhig  schlafen 102 

24.  A  maiden  lies  in  her  chamber 

Die  Jungfrau  schldft  in  der  Kammer  ....     103 

25.  I  stood  bewildered,  seeing 

Ich  stand  in  dunkeln  Trdumen 104 

26.  I,  unfortunate  Atlas  !    A  whole  world 

Ich  unglucksel'ger  Atlas!  eine  Welt  .       .       .       .     104 

27.  The  years  keep  coming  and  going 

Die  Jahre  kommen  und  gehen 105 

28.  What  means  this  lonely  tear-drop 

Was  will  die  einsame  Thrane 105 

29.  The  pale,  autumnal  half-moon 

Der  bleiche,  herbstliche  Halbmond       ....     106 

30.  Well,  this  is  awful  weather 

Das  ist  ein  schlechtes  Wetter 107 

31.  They  think  that  I  am  tortured 

Man  glaubt,  dass  ich  mich  gr'dme 108 

32.  Oh,  your  slim,  white  lily-fingers 

Deine  weissen  Liljenfinger     .       .       .  .     .       .       .     109 

33.  "  Has  she  never  even  shown  you  " 

"  Hat  sie  sich  denn  nie  gedussert "  109 

34.  They  loved  one  another,  though  neither 

Sie  liebten  sich  beide,  doch  keiner      .       .       .       .  .  no 

35.  When  I  told  of  my  sorrows  that  wounded  and  tore 

Und  als  ich  euch  meine  Schmerzen  geklagt      .       .no 

36.  I  called  the  devil  and  he  came 

Ich  rief  den  Teufel  und  er  kam in 

37.  Mortal,  mock  not  at  the  devil 

Mensch,  verspotte  nicht  den  Teufel   .       .       .       .in 

38.  My  child,  we  once  were  children  

Mein  Kind,  wir  waren  Kinder (112 

39.  My  heart  is  crushed  with  grief,  for  sadly 

Das  Hers  ist  mir  bedruckt,  und  sehnlich  .       .       .113 

40.  As  the  moon  through  heavy  cloud-drifts 

Wie  der  Mond  sich  leuchtend  dr'dnget       .       .       .114 

41.  I  saw  in  a  dream  the  Beloved 

Im  Traum  sah  ich  die  Geliebte 115 

42.  Why,  my  friend,  this  same  old  fretting 

Teurer  Freund!     Was  soil  es  nutzen  .       .       .       .116 

43.  Listen ;  do  not  grow  impatient 

Werdet  nur  nicht  ungeduldig 116 


xxxii  Contents 

PAGE 

44.  Now  it  is  time  that  I  should  start 

Nun  ist  es  Zeit,  dass  ich  mit  Ver stand      .       .       .117 

45.  The  good  king  Wiswamitra 

Den  Konig  Wiswamitra 117 

46.  Heart,  my  heart,  let  naught  o'ercome  you 

Herzt  mein  Herz,  sei  nicht  beklommen      .       .       .118 
-  47.    Child,  you  are  like  a  flower 

Du  bist  wie  eine  Blume 118 

48.  Child,  I  know  'twould  be  your  ruin 

Kind!  es  ware  dein  Verderben 119 

49.  When  I  lie  down  for  comfort 

Wenn  ich  auf  dem  Lager  liege 119 

50.  Girl  whose  mouth  is  red  and  laughing 

Madchen  mit  dem  roten  Mundchen     ....     120 

51.  Snows  and  storms  may  whirl  in  torrents 

Mag  da  draussen  Schnee  sich  turmen       .       .       .     120 

52.  Did  not  my  pallid  face  betray 

Verriet  mein  blasses  Angesicht 121 

53.  "  Ah,  my  friend,  you  are  in  love  " 

"  Teurer  Freund,  du  bist  verliebt "  .       .       .121 

54.  I  sought  your  side,  the  only 

Ich  wollte  bei  dir  weilen 122 

55.  Sapphires  are  those  eyes  of  yours 

Sap  hire  sind  die  Augen  dein 122 

56.  I  have  lied  to  win  you,  precious 

Habe  mich  mit  Liebesreden 123 

57.  Life  in  this  world  is  a  muddled  existence — 

Zu  fragmentarisch  ist  Welt  und  Leben     .       .       .     124 

58.  My  head  and  brain  are  almost  broken 

Ich  hab'  mir  lang  den  Kopf  zerbrochen  .       .       .     124 

59.  They're  having  a  party  this  evening 

Sie  haben  heut  Abend  Gesellschaft      ....     124 

60.  Oh,  that  I  could  capture  my  sadness 

Ich  woll?  meine  Schmerzen  ergossen  ....     125 

61.  You've  pearls  and  you've  diamonds,  my  dearest 

Du  hast  Diamanten  und  Perlen 126 

62.  He  who,  for  the  first  time,  loves 

Wer  zum   erstenmale  liebt 126 

63.  In  your  tepid  soul  and  vapid 

Zu  der  Lauheit  und  der  Flauheit 127 

64.  Oh  loveliest  of  ladies,  may 

O,  mein  gn'ddiges  Fr'dulein,  erlaubt      ....     127 

65.  Of  words  and  advice  they  were  the  donors 

Gaben  mir  Rat  und  gute  Lehren  .       .       .  *»     127 


Contents  xxxiii 

PAGE 

66.  This  most  amiable  youngster 

Diesen  liebenswiird'gen  Jungling 128 

67.  I  dreamt  I  was  the  dear  Lord  God 

Mir  trdumt:  ich  bin  dir  Hebe  Gott      ....     129 

68.  Torn  from  bright  lips  I  loved;  departing  sadly 

Von  schonen  Lip  pen  fortgedrdngt,  getrieben     .       .131 

69.  Alone  in  the  dim  post-wagon 

Wir  fuhren  allein  im  dunkeln 131 

70.  Like  a  dark  dream  the  houses 

Wie  dunkle  Traume  stehen 132 

71.  With  kisses  my  lips  were  wounded  by  you 

Hast  du  die  Lippen  mir  wund  gekiisst       .       .       .     133 

72.  And  when  you're  once  my  wedded  wife 

Und  bist  du  erst  mein  ehlich  Weib     .       .       .       .133 

73.  When  I  am  enwrapped  in  her  tender  embraces 

Als  sie  mich  umschlang  mit  z'drtlichem  Pressen      .     134 

74.  Oh  what  lies  there  are  in  kisses ! 

In  den  Kussen,  welche  Luge 134 

75-    Upon  your  snow-white  shoulder 

An  deine  schneeweisse  Schulter 135 

76.  The  blue  Hussars  go  bugling 

Es  blasen  die  blauen  Husaren 135 

77.  In  my  youth  when  Love  was  yearning 

Habe  auch  in  jungen  Jahren 136 

78.  Have  you  really  grown  to  hate  me? 

Bist  du  wirklich  mir  so  feindlich 136 

79.  Ah,  those  eyes  again  which  always 

Ach,  die  Augen  sind  es  wieder 137 

80.  'Tis  a  heavenly  pleasure  indeed 

Himmlisch  war's,  wenn  ich  bezwang  ....     137 

81.  Hard  to  understand  your  gabble 

Selten  habt  ihr  mich  verstanden 138 

82.  And  still  the  eunuchs  grumbled 

Doch  die  Kastraten  klagten 138 

83.  On  the  walls  of  Salamanca 

Auf  den  W alien  Salamankas 139 

84.  As  soon  as  we  met  we  were  'wrapped  in  each  other 

Kaum  sahen  wir  uns,  und  an  Augen  und  Stimmen  .     139 

85.  Over ^  the  mountains  the  sun  throws  his  fire 

Uber  die  Berge  steigt  schon  die  Sonne       .       .       .     140 

86.  In  Halle's  market-place 

Zu  Halle  auf  dem  Markt 140 

87.  Lovely  and  efficient  lady 

Schone,  wirtschaftliche  Dame 141 


xxxiv  Contents 

PAGE 

88.  Softly  now  the  summer  twilight 

Ddmmernd  liegt  der  Sommerabend     .       .       .       .141 

89.  Night  lies  on  the  strange,  dark  roadways 

Nacht  liegt  auf  den  fremden  Wegen  .       .       .       .142 

90.  Death — it  is  but  the  long,  cool  night 

Der  Tod,  das  ist  die  kuhle  Nacht 142 

91.  "  Where  is  now  your  precious  darling  " 

"Sag,  wo  ist  dein  schdnes  Liebchen"  .  .  .143 
DUSK  OF  THE  GODS 

Gotterd'dmmerung 143 

DONNA  CLARA 

Donna  Clara 146 

THE  PILGRIMAGE  TO  KEVLAAR 

Die  Wallfahrt  nach  Kevlaar 150 

THE  HARZ  JOURNEY 

PROLOG 

Prolog 157 

A  MOUNTAIN  IDYLI 

Berg-Idylle  158 

THE  HERD-BOY 

Der  Hirtenknabe 166 

ON  THE  BROCKEN 

Auf  dem  Bracken 167 

THE  ILSE 

Die  Use 168 

THE  NORTH  SEA— FIRST  CYCLE 

CORONATION 

Kronung 173 

TWILIGHT 

Abendd'dmmerung 174 

NIGHT  ON  THE  STRAND 

Die  Nacht  am  Strande .  .175 

POSEIDON 

Poseidon 178 

DECLARATION 

Erkldrung 180 

A  NIGHT  IN  THE  CABIN 

Nacht s  in  der  Kajiite 181 

STORM  » 

Sturm      .  .     181 


Contents  xxxv 

PAGE 

CALM  AT  SEA 

Meeresstille  183 

PEACE 

Frieden  184 


THE  NORTH  SEA— SECOND  CYCLE 

SEA  GREETING 

Meergruss  .  .  .  . 187 

SUNSET 

Untergang  der  Sonnc 189 

THE  GODS  OF  GREECE 

Die  Goiter  Griechenlands 191 

QUESTIONS 

Fragen 194 

THE  PHOENIX 

Der  Phonix 195 

SEA-SICKNESS 

Seekrankheit 196 

EPILOG 

Epilog .       .     199 


NEW    POEMS 

NEW  SPRING 

1.  Now  the  wood  blooms  like  a  maiden 

In  dem  W aide  spriesst  und  grunt  es    .  205 

2.  Lightly  swinging  bells  are  ringing 

Leise  ziehi  durch  mein  Gemiit 205 

3.  The  butterfly  is  in  love  with  the  rose 

Der  Schmetterling  ist  in  die  Rose  verliebt  .       .       .     206 

4.  All  the  trees  are  full  of  music 

Es  erklingen  alle  Bdume 206 

5.  "  In  the  beginning  was  the  Word  " 

Im  An  fang  war  die  Nachtigall 207 

6.  I  must  go  forth,  the  bells  are  pealing 

Es  drdngt  die  Not,  es  Iduten  die  Glocken  .       .       .     208 

7.  The  deep,  blue  eyes  of  Springtime 

Die  blauen  Fruhlingsaugen 208 

8.  The  slender  water-lily 

Die  schlanke  Wasserlilie 209 


xxxvi  Contents 

PAGE 

9.   Your  eyes'  blue  depths  are  lifted 

Mit  deinen  blauen  Augen 209 

10.  The  rose  is  fragrant — but  can  she  be  feeling 

Die  Rose  duftet — dock  ob  sie  empfindet  .       .       .     210 

11.  As  the  moon's  pale  image  trembles 

Wie  die  Mondes  Abbild  zittert 210 

12.  Our  hearts  have  made  a  holy 

Es  haben  unsre  Herzen 210 

13.  Kisses  that  one  steals  in  darkness 

Kilsse,  die  man  stiehlt  im  Dunkeln      .       .       .       .211 

14.  There  was  an  aged  monarch 

Es  war  ein  alter  Kdnig 211 

15.  In  memory  many  pictures 

In  meiner  Erinnrung  erbluhen 212 

16.  Every  day  I  send  you  violets 

M  or  gens  send'  ich  dir  die  Veilchen     .       .       .       .212 

17.  Your  letter  does  not  move  me 

Der  Brief,  den  du  geschrieben 213 

18.  Do  not  fear  that  I'll  betray  my 

Sorge  nie,  dass  ich  v  err  ate 213 

19.  Stars  with  golden  feet  are  walking 

Sterne  mit  den  goldnen  Fusschen 214 

20.  The  sweet  desires  blossom 

Die  holden  Wunsche  bluhen 214 

A  MISCELLANY 

SERAPHINE 

1.  Night  has  come  with  silent  footsteps 

An  dem  stillen  Meeresstrande        .       .       .       .217 

2.  I  was  aware  you  loved  me 

Dass  du  mich  licbst,  das  wusst'  ich    .       .       .217 

3.  Upon  these  rocks  we  shall  erect 

Auf  diesen  Felsen  bauen  wir 218 

4.  Shadow-love  and  shadow-kisses 

Schattenkusse,  Schattenliebe 219 

5.  Upon  the  shore,  a  maiden 

Das  Fraulein  stand  am  Meere      ....     219 

6.  With  great,  black  sails  my  ship  sails  on 

Mit  schwarzen  Segeln  segelt  mein  Schiff    .       .     219 

7.  Fve  told  no  man  how  shameful 

Wie  schandlich  du  gehandelt 220 

8.  The  waves  draw  in  and  stumble 

Es  ziehen  die  brausenden  Wellen  \    220 


Contents 


xxxvn 


9.   The  runic  stone  juts  into  the  sea 

Es  ragt  ins  Meer  der  Runenstein  ... 
10.    The  sea  is  sparkling  in  the  sun 

Das  Meer  erstrahlt  im  Sonnenschein  .       . 

ANGELIQUE 

1.  Although  you  hurried  coldly  past  me 

Wie  rasch  du  auch  voruberschrittest  .       . 

2.  How  from  such  a  chance  beginning 

Wie  entwickeln  sich  dock  schnelle      .         . 

3.  Ah,  how  sweet  you  are,  confiding 

Ach,  wie  schon  bist  du,  wenn  traulich  .       . 

4.  I  close  her  eyes,  and  keep  them  tight 

Ich  halte  ihr  die  Augen  zu 

5.  When  in  your  arms  and  in  our  kisses 

Wenn  ich,  beseligt  vom  schonen  Kussen   . 

6.  Do  not  fear,  my  love  ;  no  danger 

Fiirchte  nichts,  geliebte  Seele        ... 

7.  Don't  send  me  off,  now  that  your  thirst 

Schaff  mich  nicht  ab,  wenn  auch  den  Durst 

8.  This  mad  carnival  of  loving 

Dieser  Liebe  toller  Patching 

HORTENSE 

1.  We  stood  upon  the  corner,  where 

Wir  standen  an  der  Strasseneck  ... 

2.  In  all  my  dreams  by  daylight 

In  meinen  Tagestr'dumen 

3.  Deep  within  a  lovely  garden 

Steht  ein  Baum  im  schonen  Garten      .       . 

4.  The  words  you  keep  repeating 

Nicht  lange  t'duschte  mich  das  Gluck  .       . 

YOLANDA   AND    MARIE 

1.  Which  of  them  shall  I  fall  in  love  with? 

In  welche  soil  ich  mich  verlieben  ... 

2.  Flowers  on  your  breast  —  I  heed  'em! 

Vor  der  Brust  die  trikoloren 

3.  Youth  is  leaving  me;  but  (daily 

Jugend,  die  mir  tdglich  schwindet       .       . 


1.  He  stands  as  stark  as  a  tree-trunk 

Er  steht  so  starr  wie  ein  Baumstamm  . 

2.  Emma,  tell  me,  tell  me  truly  : 

Emma,  sage  mir  die  Wahrheit      .. 

3.  Now  with  shadows,  dull  and  dreary 

Schon  mit  ihr  en  schlimmsten  Schatten 


PAGE 

221 
221 

222 
222 
223 
224 
224 
225 
225 
226 

227 
227 
228 
228 

229 
229 
230 

230 
231 
231 


xxxviii  Contents 

PAGE 

CATHERINE 

1.  A  lovely  star  has  risen  in  my  night 

Ein  schoner  Stern  geht  auf  in  meiner  Nacht      .     232 

2.  You  lie  in  my  arms  so  gladly 

Du  liegst  mir  so  gern  im  Arme     ....     232 

3.  I  love  this  white  and  slender  body 

Ich  Hebe  solche  weisse  Glieder      ....     233 

KITTY 

1.  Eyes  that  I  had  long  forgotten 

Augen,  die  ich  Idngst  vergessen     ....     234 

2.  Your  love  for  me  (so  says  my  pride) 

Mir  redet  ein  die  Eitelkeit 234 

3.  The  sun  is  fair  when  it  sinks  in  splendor 

Es  gldnzt  so  schon  die  sinkende  Sonne     .       .     235 

4.  Her  letter  leaves  me  breathless — 

Er  ist  so  herzbeweglich 235 

5.  Swift  as  a  deer,  my  bark 

Es  Iduft  dahin  die  Barke 236 

6.  The  joy  that  kissed  me  yesterday 

Das  Gluck,  das  gestern  mich  gekiisst  .       .       .     236 

JENNY 

My  years  now  number  five  and  thirty 

Ich  bin  nun  fiinfunddreissig  Jahr'  alt  .       .       .     237 

ABROAD 

1.  "Oh  this  dear,  delightful  poet" 

O,  des  liebenswurd'gen  Dichters  ....     238 

2.  To-day  you  are  so  plunged  in  sorrow 

Du  bist  ja  heut  so  grambefangen  ....     239 

3.  I  had,  long  since,  a  lovely  Fatherland 

Ich  hatte  einst  ein  schones  Vaterland  .       .       .     240 

TRAGEDY 

1.  "  Oh  fly  with  me  and  be  my  love  " 

Entftich  mit  mir  und  sei  mein  Wcib  .       .       .     240 

2.  The  hoar-frost  fell  on  a  night  in  Spring 

Es  fiel  ein  Reif  in  der  Fruhlingsnacht  .       .       .     241 

3.  Upon  their  grave  a  tree  stands  now 

Auf  ihrem  Grab  da  steht  eine  Linde  .       .       .     241 

BALLADS 

A  WOMAN 

Ein  Weib 245 

SPRING  FESTIVAL 

Frithlingsfeier *>   .     245 


Contents  xxxix 

PAGE 

THE  ADJURATION 

Die  Beschworung 246 

ANNO  1829 

Anno  1829 247 

PSYCHE 

Psyche 248 

THE  UNKOWN 

Die  Unbekannte 249 

AWAY  !  / 

Lass  ab 250        / 

A  MEETING  ' 

Begegnung .     251 

THE  FAITHLESS  LOUISA 

Die  ungetreue  Luise 252 


POEMS  FOR  THE  TIMES 
DOCTRINE 

Doktrin  257 

A  WARNING 

Warnung .     ,  .     257 

DEGENERATION 

Entartung 258 

HENRY  . 

Heinrich 259 

To  GEORGE  HERWEGH 

An  Georg  Herwegh 260 

A  TOPSY-TURVY  WORLD 

Verkehrte  Welt 260 

GERMANY 

Deutschland          261 

ONLY  WAIT! 

Wartet  nur! 262 

THE  WEAVERS 

Der   Weber 263 

FOUR  SONGS 

Through  my  heart  the  most  beguiling 

Es  erklingt  wie  Liebestone     ......     264 

Yellow  roses  as  an  offering — 

Was  bedeuten  gelbe  Rosen 264 

We  laugh  and  we  are  troubled 

Wir  mussen  zugleich  uns  betriiben        ....     264 

It  makes  a  man  feel  happy 

Das  macht  den  Menschen  glilcklich   ....     265 


xl  Contents 

PAGE 

ROMANCERO 

LAMENTATIONS,  LAZARUS  AND  LAST  POEMS 

When  all  men  have  betrayed  your  trust 

Wenn  man  an  dir  Verrat  geiibt 

PROLOG 

Prolog  

THE  ASRA 

Der  Asra 

FROM  THE  PRELUDE 

Praludium 

FAREWELL 

Lebewohl 270 

MYTHOLOGY 

Mythologie 271 

SECURITY 

Soliditdt 272 

AUTO-DA-FE 

Auto-da-fe 272 

MORPHINE 

Morphine 273 

SOLOMON 

Salomo 274 

How  slowly  Time,  the  frightful  snail 

Wie  langsam  kriechet  sie  dahin 274 

Medievalism's  crudeness 

Mitteralterliche  Roheit 275 

EPILOG 

Epilog 276 

WHERE? 

Wo? 277 

ENFANT  PERDU 

Enfant  perdu 277 

HYMN 

Hymnus 279 

ALPHABETICAL  INDEX  OF  FIRST  LINES  IN  GERMAN  .  281 


BOOK    OF    SONGS 


PREFACE    TO    THE    THIRD    EDITION 

OF   THE 
"BOOK  OF  SONGS" 

Das  ist  der  alte  Marchenwald 

It  is  the  old,  enchanted  wood; 

The  linden-tree's  in  flower. 
The  cold,  white  magic  of  the  moon 

Maddens  me  with  its  power.  .  .  . 

I  wandered  on,  and  as  I  went 

I  heard  the  heavens  ringing; 
Of  love  and  the  keen  ache  of  love 

The  nightingale  was  singing. 

Of  love  and  the  keen  ache  of  love 
She  sang;  of  tears  and  laughter — 

So  sad  her  mirth,  so  sweet  her  sobs, 
That  dead  dreams  followed  after. 

I  wandered  on,  and  as  I  went 

A  wide  space  lay  before  me. 
And  there,  with  towering  spires,  there  rose 

A  castle  huge  and  stormy. 

Barred  were  its  windows;  over  all 

Lay  grief  and  silence,  giving 
The  sense  that  in  these  wasted  walls 

Nothing  but  Death  was  living. 
3 


Book  of  Songs 

Before  the  door  there  lay  a  Sphinx, 

Half -horrible,  half -human; 
A  lion's  form  in  body  and  claws, 

The  forehead  and  breast — a  woman. 

A  woman  fair!  Her  marble  gaze 
Was  sensuous  and  commanding. 

Her  dumb  lips  curved  into  a  smile 
Of  secret  understanding. 

The  nightingale  so  sweetly  sang, 
What  use  was  my  resistance — 

I  kissed  her  radiant  face,  and  that 
Transformed  my  whole  existence. 

For  lo,  the  marble  statue  woke; 

The  stone  was  touched  with  fire; 
She  drank  the  fervor  of  my  kiss 

With  an  unslaked  desire. 

She  drank  my  very  breath  from  me 

And  then,  with  lustful  ardor, 
Her  lion's  claws  sank  in  my  flesh, 

Holding  me  closer,  harder. 

Oh  exquisite  torture,  rapturous  wounds! 

The  pain  and  the  pleasure  unending— 
For  while  I  was  thrilled  with  the  kiss  of  her 
mouth, 

The  claws  were  tearing  and  rending. 

The  nightingale  sang  "  Oh  wondrous  Sphinx ; 

Oh  Love,  why  all  this  distressing 
Mingling  of  death-like  agony 

With  every  balm  and  blessing? 


Book  of  Songs  5 

"  Oh  lovely  Sphinx !    Explain  to  me 
This  riddle  that  puzzles  sages. 

I've  pondered  on  it  hopelessly, 
Alas,  for  many  ages." 

— All  this  I  could  have  said  just  as  well  in  decent 
prose.  .  .  .  But  when  one  reads  over  one's  old  poems, 
freshening  a  phrase  here  and  there,  and  touching  them 
up  for  a  new  printing,  the  lyric  habit  of  rhyme  and 
rhythm  steals  over  one  imperceptibly — and  lo!  it  is 
with  verse  that  I  open  this  third  edition  of  the 
" Book  of  Songs" 

Oh  Phoebus  Apollo!  if  these  verses  be  bad  thou 
wilt  surely  forgive  me.  .  .  .  For  thou  art  an  all-wise 
god,  and  thou  knowest  well  enough  why  it  was  that 
many  years  have  passed  since  I  have  busied  myself 
exclusively  with  the  measuring  and  harmonizing  of 
words.  .  .  .  Thou  knowest  why  the  flame  which  once 
delighted  the  world  with  its  brilliant  display  of  fire- 
works was  suddenly  turned  to  a  more  serious  blaze. 
.  .  .  Thou  knowest  why  this  silently  glowing  fire  is 
now  consuming  my  heart.  Thou  dost  understand  me, 
great  and  glorious  god;  for  even  so  didst  thou  ex- 
change, now  and  again,  the  golden  lyre  for  the  mighty 
bow  and  the  death-dealing  arrows.  .  .  .  Dost  thou  not 
still  remember  Marsyas,  whom  thou  didst  flay  alive? 
That  was  long  ago,  and  a  similar  example  may  be 
necessary.  .  .  .  Thou  smilest,  oh  my  eternal  Father ! 

HEINRICH  HEINE. 

Written  in  Paris,  February  20,  1839. 


YOUNG    SORROWS 

(1817-1821) 


Im   Traum  sah  ich  ein  Mannchen,  klein  und  putzlg 

I  dreamt  I  saw  a  dwarf  in  dapper  clothing, 

Who  walked  on  stilts,  each  step  an  ell  or  more. 

Sported  white  linen — but  the  stuff  he  wore 
Was  black  inside:  one  saw  the  dirt  with  loathing. 
Within  he  was  all  sham;  a  fuss  and  frothing 

To  draw  attention  from  the  rotting  core. 

He  talked  of  being  brave,  and  was  a  bore. 
His  courage  was  all  cant,  and  came  to  nothing. 

* 

"  And  do  you  know  that  man,  or  can  you  guess  ?  " 
The  Dream-god  asked  me;  and  he  showed  me  then 
A  picture  of  a  church.   .    .    .   And  of  all  men 
The  dwarf  was  at  the  altar,  nothing  less, 
My  love  beside  him;  both  were  saying  "  Yes!  " 
And  twice  a  thousand  devils  laughed  "  Amen ! " 


Was  treibt  und  tobt  mem  tolles  Blut? 

Why  is  my  mad  blood  rushing  so  ? 
Why  is  my  heart  in  such  a  glow? 
My  blood  speeds  like  an  angry  dart, 
And  seething  fires  consume  my  heart. 

My  blood  is  boiling,  foaming,  mad, 
Because  of  an  evil  dream  I've  had.  . 
He  came,  the  shadowy  son  of  Night, 
And  bore  me,  gasping,  in  his  flight. 
9 


io  Book  of  Songs 

He  brought  me  to  a  brilliant  house 
Where  harps  and  lights  and  gay  carouse 
And  revelers  raised  a  merry  din. 
I  reached  the  hall;  I  entered  in. 

It  was  a  wedding  revelry ; 
The  guests  were  seated  smilingly. 
And  when  the  happy  pair  I  spied — 
Alas!     My  darling  was  the  bride. 

It  was  my  love — the  blushing  bride ! 
A  smiling  stranger  at  her  side. 
I  crept  up  close  behind  their  chair 
And  silently  I  waited  there. 

The  music  grew ;  I  stood  quite  still ; 
The  happy  clamor  made  me  ill. 
The  bride,  with  ecstasy  possessed, 
Folded  the  bridegroom  to  her  breast. 

I  saw  the  bridegroom  fill  his  glass 

And  drink  and  with  a  gesture  pass 

The  wine  to  her.    She  drank  and  laughed. — 

And,  woe !    It  was  my  blood  they  quaffed. 

The  bride  then  took  an  apple,  and 
Put  it  into  the  bridegroom's  hand. 
He  took  a  knife  and  cut  it  straight. — 
And,  woe !    It  was  my  heart  they  ate. 

Their  looks  were  long,  their  glances  blazed ; 
He  held  her  lovingly  embraced, 
Kissing  her  hot  cheeks  passionately. —  » 
And,  woe !    'Twas  Death's  cold  lips  on  me. 


Young  Sorrows  II 

My  tongue  lay  in  my  mouth  like  lead — 
I  could  not  speak,  the  words  fell  dead. 
And  then — the  music  through  the  hall, 
The  bridal  couple  leading  all ! 

I  stood  there,  lost  to  all  the  world ; 
The  dancers  round  about  me  swirled. 
His  words  grew  warm,  his  whispers  bold : 
She  reddened — but  she  did  not  scold.  , 


Ich  kam  von  meiner  Herrin  Haus 

I  came  from  my  true  love's  house  and  stood, 
Wrapped  in  a  dark  and  midnight  mood, 
Within  a  lonely  churchyard  where 
The  tombstones  glistened  bright  and  bare. 

It  was  the  glimmering  moon  that  shone 
Still  brighter  on  the  Minstrel's  stone. 
I  heard,  "  Wait,  brother, — the  hour  flies." 
And,  pale  as  the  mist,  I  saw  him  rise. 

It  was  the  Minstrel,  bone  for  bone, 
Who  rose  and  sat  on  his  crumbling  stone; 
And  he  grasped  his  zither  and  sang  this  song 
In  a  voice  that  was  hollow  and  harsh  and  strong 

"  Ha !  do  ye  know  the  old  refrain 
Ye  strings,  that  echoed  with  its  pain? 

Know  ye  the  name  thereof? 
The  angels  call  it  Heaven's  desire, 
The  devils  call  it  Hell's  own  fire, 

And  man,  he  calls  it — Love !  " 


12  Book  of  Songs 

Scarce  had  he  shouted  the  final  word 
When  all  the  buried  people  stirred. 
Up  from  their  graves  they  rose,  and  sprang 
About  the  Minstrel  as  they  sang: 

"  Love,  oh  Love,  your  power  has  led 
Us  to  this,  our  final  bed. 
Eyes  are  closed  in  a  quiet  head — 
Why  do  you  call  and  rouse  the  dead  ?  " 

And  loudly  they  rattled  and  whimpered  and  wailed, 
They  chattered  and  clattered  and  rumbled  and  railed ; 
And  madly  the  swarm  ran  round  and  about 
While  the  Minstrel  played,  and  sang  with  a  shout : 

"  Bravo !     Bravo !    Madmen  still ! 

Welcome,  madmen, 

Good  and  bad  men, 

That  my  magic  words  could  thrill! 

Ye  who  lie,  year  in,  year  out, 

In  a  dark  and  dusty  drought, 

Let  this  be  a  merry  rout! 

But  look  first 

If  there's  any  one  about. 

Fools  we  were  when  we  were  living, 

While  our  burning  blood  was  giving 

Us  a  mad  and  passionate  thirst. 

Now,  for  pastime  and  for  glory, 

Every  one  shall  tell  his  story; 

Tell  what  brought  him  to  this  place; 

How  he  fared 

And  was  snared 
In  Love's  mad  and  furious  chase." 


Young  Sorrows  13 

And  then  from  the  circle,  as  light  as  the  wind, 
There  hopped  a  lean  phantom  who  hummed  as  he 
grinned : 

"A  tailor's  lad  was  I,  sirs, 

(  With  needle  and  with  shears, ) 
I  was  so  slick  and  spry,  sirs, 

(With  needle  and  with  shears.) 
My  master's  daughter  tricked  me 

(With  needle  and  with  shears,) 
And  to  the  heart  she  pricked  me 

(With  needle  and  with  shears.") 

The  spirits  all  laughed  till  their  skeletons  shook; 
And  a  second  stepped  forth  with  a  serious  look : 

"  O,  Rinaldo  Rinaldini, 

Robin  Hood  and  Orlandini, 

And  Carl  Moor  (the  best  of  those) 

Were  the  models  that  I  chose. 

"  I  too,  in  a  milder  fashion, 
Like  these  brigands,  tasted  passion; 
While  a  certain  lady's  face 
Haunted  me  from  place  to  place. 

"  All  my  hopes  were  crushed  and  saddened ; 
And  when  Love  at  last  grew  maddened, 
My  mad  fingers,  growing  rash, 
Dipped  into  my  neighbor's  cash. 

"  But  a  watchman  who  was  jealous 
Said  my  mourning  was  too  zealous; 
Said  I  tried  to  dry  my  griefs 
In  my  neighbor's  handkerchiefs. 


14  Book  of  Songs 

"  Then  the  old  policemen  caught  me ; 
To  the  station-house  they  brought  me; 
And  the  great,  gray  prison  pressed 
Me  to  its  maternal  breast. 

"Thoughts  of  love  (I  could  not  choke  'em) 
Plagued  me  still  while  picking  oakum ; 
Till  Rinaldo's  shadow  passed 
And  released  my  soul  at  last." 

The  spirits  all  laughed  with  a  boisterous  shout; 
And  powdered  and  perfumed,  a  third  stepped  out : 

"  As  king  of  the  boards  I  had  striven 

To  play  every  amorous  role; 
How  often  I  ranted,  '  Oh  heaven !  * 

And  whispered  a  wild,  *  Ah,  my  soul/ 

"  As  Romeo  none  could  do  better ; 

(My  Juliet  was  always  so  fair!) 
Though  I  acted  my  lines  to  the  letter 

She  never  would  answer  my  prayer. 

"  One  night,  as  I  started  to  stagger 
At  the  end,  and  as  '  Juliet ! '  I  cried, 

I  stuck  the  sharp  point  of  the  dagger 
A  little  too  deep  in  my  side." 

The  spirits  all  laughed  with  a  boisterous  shout ; 
And,  clad  in  a  white  cloth,  a  fourth  stepped  out: 

"  The  professor  talked  of  the  spirit  and  letter ; 

He  talked,  and  he  talked — and  I  slept  right  well. 
But  one  thing  of  his  I  enjoyed  far  better: 

His  daughter,  more  lovely  than  words  could  tell. 


Young  Sorrows  15 

"  For  me  were  her  eyes  and  the  smiles  that  she 
lavished, 

My  flower  of  flowers,  my  Love's  own  light ! 
But  my  flower  of  flowers  was  stolen  and  ravished 

By  a  sour  philistine,  a  wealthy  old  blight. 

"  Then  I  cursed  all  rich  scoundrels  and  women 

together ; 

The  devil's  own  brew  I  prepared  at  the  end. 
Then  drank  with  Lord  Satan   (two  birds  of  a 

feather)  ; 

He    hiccuped    ' Fiduclt,    old    Death    is    your 
friend.'  " 

The  spirits  all  laughed  with  a  boisterous  shout ; 
And,  a  rope  'round  his  neck,  a  fifth  stepped  out : 

"  The  Count,  he  boasted  and  bragged  at  his  wine 
Of  his  daughters  divine  and  his  jewel  so  fine. 
Your  jewel,  dear  Count,  may  be  ever  so  fine, 
But  truly,  I'd  rather  your  daughter  were  mine. 

"  The  Count  kept  them  both  under  lock,  bolt  and 

key; 

And  a  houseful  of  servants  to  guard  them  had  he. 
What  mattered  his  locks  and  his  servants  to  me — 
I  got  me  a  ladder  and  mounted  with  glee. 

"  I  stood  at  her  window  with  ardor  and  joy, 
When  I  heard  a  voice  calling  beneath  me,  '  Ho, 

boy! 

Fine  doings,  my  lad,  but  give  me  my  share— 
I'm  also  in  love  with  the  jewel  that's  there.' 


1 6  Book  of  Songs 

"  And  thus  the  Count  jeered  at  and  mocked  me, 

the  while 

His  servants  flocked  'round,  with  a  sinister  smile. 
'  The  devil ! '  I  cried,  '  Do  you  think  I  would 

thieve  ? 
I  came   for  my  love,  which  I'll  take  by  your 

leave.'  .   .   . 

"  But    anger    availed    not,    nor    pleadings    nor 

prayers ; 
And  they  marched  in  a  solemn  parade  down  the 

stairs. 

When  the  sun  rose,  she  started,  astonished  to  see 
The  gallows  so  shining  and  heavy — with  me." 

The  spirits  all  laughed  in  a  boisterous  shout; 
With  his  head  in  his  hand,  a  sixth  stepped  out: 

"  Love  drove  me  to  the  poacher's  trade, 
And,  musket  on  my  arm,  I  strayed 
Beneath  the  trees  where  ravens  scoff 
And  croak  and  cough :  *  Heads — off !     Heads—- 
off!' 

"  Oh,  if  I  only  saw  a  dove 
I'd  bring  it  home  to  my  true  love; 
So  I  mused  on,  and  every  tree 
Received  my  hunter's  scrutiny. 

"  What  do  I  hear  ?    What  billing's  that  ? 
Two  turtle-doves!     I've  got  'em  pat. 
I  crept  up  close;  I  caught  the  pair — 
And  lo!  I  found  my  own  love  there! 


Young  Sorrows  17 

"  It  was  my  nestling  dove,  my  bride ; 
A  strange  man  snuggling  at  her  side — 
Now,  you  old  marksman,  aim,  aim  well! 
There,  in  his  blood,  the  stranger  fell. 


"  Soon,  through  the  woods,  the  hangman's  crew, 
With  me,  chief  actor,  in  review 
Passed  the  same  trees  where  ravens  scoff 
And  croak  and  cough :  '  Heads — off !     Heads — 
off.'  " 


The  spirits  all  laughed  in  a  boisterous  chorus; 
Until  the  Minstrel  himself  stepped  before  us : 


"  I  once  had  a  song  that  I  cherished, 
But  that  sweet  song  is  gone. 

When  the  heart  has  loved  and  perished 
Then  all  of  our  singing  is  done." 


And  the  crazy  laughter  grew  twice  as  loud, 
As  the  circle  swayed  wide  with  its  ghostly  crowd. 
The  bells  struck  "  One  "...  and,  to  a  man, 
Howling  into  their  graves  they  ran. 


Ich   lag  und  schlief,  und  schlief  recht  mild 

I  lay  and  slept,  and  slept  right  well, 

Free  of  the  old  despair; 
When  in  my  deepest  dream  there  fell 

The  vision,  fond  and  fair. 


I 8  Book  of  Songs 

Her  face  was  like  a  marble  girl's 
But  lovelier  with  the  change; 

Her  eyes  had  the  cold  sheen  of  pearls, 
And  her  bright  hair  was  strange. 

And  softly,  without  stir  or  start, 

That  maiden,  marble-pale, 
Came  and  lay  down  upon  my  heart, 

Mutely  and  marble-pale.  .   .   . 

I  throb  and  thrill  with  hot  unrest, 

The  maddest  fevers  rise; 
No  throb  nor  thrill  shakes  her  fair  breast 

That  is  as  cold  as  ice. 

"  No  throb  nor  thrill  can  stir  my  breast 

That  is  as  cold  as  ice. 
Yet  I  know  Love's  eternal  quest, 

Its  pain  and  paradise. 

"  My  mouth  and  heart's  unwarmed  with  blood 

No  red  stream  courses  through. 
But  do  not  shudder — think  how  good 
And  kind  I  am  to  you." 

She  held  me  tight  until  the  dawn, 

Struggling  to  no  avail. 
A  cock  crowed  once  .  .   .  and  she  was  gone, 

The  maiden,  marble-pale. 


SONGS 


Wenn  ich  bei  meiner  Lie bs ten  bin 

When  I  am  with  my  own  adored, 
Oh  then  my  heart  beats  high ; 

I  am  as  rich  as  any  lord, 
The  world  is  mine  to  buy! 

But  every  time  I  leave  her,  then 
My  wealth,  that  seemed  secure, 

Is  spent — and  I  am  once  again 
The  poorest  of  the  poor. 

Morgens  steh'  ich  auf  und  frage 

Mornings  I  arise  and  wonder 

Will  she  come  to-day  ? 
Evening  passes,  still  I  ponder, 

Still  she  stays  away. 

In  the  night  with  heavy  cumber 

Sleeplessly  I  lie; 
And  half -dreaming,  half  in  slumber, 

All  my  days  go  by. 

Es  treibt  mich  hin,  es  treibt  mich  her! 

It  drives  me  here,  it  drives  me  there ; 
Soon,  in  an  hour  or  two,  I  shall  meet  her, 
Yes,  she  herself,  and  what  thing  could  be  sweeter- 
Heart  of  mine,  why  are  you  throbbing  with  care? 

21 


22  Book  of  Songs 

The  hours  are  such  a  lazy  lot ! 

Creeping  along  with  one  foot  dragging, 
Going  the  rounds,  yawning  and  lagging — 

Come,  stir  yourselves,  you  lazy-bones! 

Now  I  am  seized  with  the  madness  of  speed. 

Oh,  but  they  never  were  lovers,  these  hours; 

Banded  together  with  hideous  powers 
They  mock  at  the  lover's  unrest  and  his  need. 


Ich   wandelte   unter  den  Baumen 

I  wandered  under  the  branches 

Alone  with  my  despair; 
Touched  with  a  host  of  memories 

I  fell  to  dreaming  there. 

"  Who  taught  you  that  word,  oh,  you  songsters, 

You  linnets  that  circle  and  soar  ? 
Oh  cease,  for  whenever  I  hear  it 

My  heart  is  afflicted  once  more." 

"  A  girl  came  singing  it  always ; 

From  her  own  lips  we  heard, 
And  all  of  us  birds  recaptured 

That  lovely,  golden  Word." 

"  Oh,  how  can  you  tell  such  a  story, 
You  birds,  so  sagacious  and  sly; 

You  also  would  capture  my  sorrows —    »» 
But  I  will  trust  no  one,  not  L" 


Songs  23 

Lieb  Liebchen,  leg's  Handchen  aufs  Herze  rnein 

Beloved,  lay  your  hand  on  my  heart  in  its  gloom. 
Do  you  hear  that !    Like  tapping  inside  of  a  room? 
A  carpenter  lives  there.    With  malice  and  glee 
He's  building  a  coffin — a  coffin  for  me. 

He  hammers  and  pounds  with  such  fiendish  delight 
I  never  can  sleep,  neither  daytime  nor  night. 
Oh,  carpenter,  hurry  the  hours  that  creep; 
Come,  finish  your  labors — and  then  I  can  sleep. 


Ich  wollte,  meine  Lieder 

I  wish  that  all  my  love-songs 
Were  flowers  bright  and  rare; 

I'd  send  them  to  my  dearest 
And  she  might  find  them  fair. 

I  wish  that  all  my  love-songs 
Were  kisses  that  could  speak ; 

I'd  send  them  to  my  dearest 
To  hang  about  her  cheek. 

I  wish  that  these,  my  love-songs, 
Were  peas,  so  firm  and  fat; 

I'd  make  a  nice,  rich  pea-soup — 
And  she  would  relish  that! 


24  Book  of  Songs 


Schone  Wiege  meiner  Leiden 

Lovely  cradle  of  my  sorrow, 

Lovely  tomb  where  peace  might  dwell, 
Smiling  town,  we  part  to-morrow ; 

I  must  leave,  and  so  farewell. 

Farewell  threshold,  where  still  slowly 

Her  beloved  footstep  stirs; 
Farewell  to  that  hushed  and  holy 

Spot  where  first  my  eyes  met  hers. 

Had  you  never  caught  or  claimed  me, 
Fairest,  heart's  elected  queen, 

Wretchedness  would  not  have  maimed  me 
In  its  toils — as  you  have  seen. 

Never  have  you  found  me  grieving 
For  your  heart  with  loud  despair; 

All  I  asked  was  quiet  living, 
Quietly  to  breathe  your  air. 

But  you  drove  me  forth  with  scourging, 
Bitter  words  and  lashing  scorn; 

Madness  in  my  soul  is  surging, 
And  my  heart  is  flayed  and  torn. 

And  I  take  my  staff  and  stumble 
On  a  journey,   far  from  brave; 

Till  my  head  droops  and  I  tumble 
In  some  cool  and  kindly  grave. 


Songs  25 

Berg*  und  Burgen  schaun  herunter 

Hill  and  hall  are  mirrored  brightly 
In  the  clear  glass  of  the  Rhine; 

And  my  little  ship  sails  lightly 
Where  the  sunlit  waters  shine. 

Quietly  I  watch  the  shaken, 

Golden  billows  at  their  play; 
And  the  thought  still  comes  to  waken 

What  I  hoped  was  laid  away. 

For  the  stream  leaps  to  enamor 
With  its  warm  and  laughing  light; 

But  I  know,  for  all  its  glamor, 
Death  is  in  its  heart — and  night. 

Stream,  you  are  her  own  reflection: 

She  can  also  smile  and  sin; 
She,  like  you,  is  all  affection — 

Fair  outside,  and  false  within! 

Anfangs  wollt'  ich  fast  verzagen 

I  despaired  at  first,  declaring 

It  could  not  be  borne;  and  now — 

Now  I  bear  it,  still  despairing. 
Only  never  ask  me  how ! 


26  Book  of  Songs 

Wenn  junge  Herzen   brechen 

When  young  hearts  break  with  passion 
The  stars  break  into  laughter, 

They  laugh  and,  in  their  fashion, 
Gossip  a  long  time  after: 

"  Poor  souls,  those  mortals  languish 
With  Love;  'tis  all  they  cherish. 

It  pays  them  back  with  anguish 
And  pain  until  they  perish. 

"  We  never  can  discover 

This  Love,  so  brief  and  breathless, 
So  fatal  to  each  lover — 

And  hence  we  stars  are  deathless. 


Die   Wdlder  und  Felder  grunen 

There's  green  on  the  meadow  and  river ; 

The  lark  seeks  a  loftier  height; 
And  Spring  has  come  in  with  a  quiver 

Of  perfume  and  color  and  light. 

The  lark's  song  has  opened  the  prison 
Of  winter-moods,  stubborn  and  strong; 

Yet  out  of  my  heart  has  arisen 
A  fragment  of  sorrowful  song. 

The  lark's  all  a-twitter  and  cheery: 

"  Oh,  what  makes  your  singing  so  drear? 

The  song  is  an  old  one,  my  dearie, 
I've  sung  it  for  many  a  year. 


Songs  27 

'Tis  the  same  ballad,  no  other, 

With  its  burden  of  sorrowful  rhymes — 
Why,  darling,  your  own  grandmother 

Has  heard  it  a  score  of  times! 


Ich  will  mich  im  grunen  Wold  ergehn 

I  shall  go  and  walk  in  the  woods  a  space, 
Where  flowers  are  gay  and  birds  are  singing; 
For  when  I  am  once  laid  six  feet  under, 
With  eyes  and  ears  that  are  closed  to  wonder, 
I  shall  not  see  one  flower  lift  its  face 
Nor  hear  one  bird's  song  set  the  silence  ringing. 


Dass  ich  dich  liebe,  o  Mopschen 

That  I  must  love  you,  Mopser, 
You  surely  understand; 

For  when  I  feed  you  sugar 
You  always  lick  my  hand. 

You're  nothing  but  a  doggie 
And  only  pose  as  such. 

All  of  my  other  friends,  alas, 
Disguise  themselves  too  much. 


28  Book  of  Songs 

THE   NUPTIAL   EVE 
I. 

Mit  deinen   grossen   allwissenden   Augen 

Yes,  you  are  right.    Your  lingering  glances 
Brim  with  a  truth  that  makes  me  sad. 

How  could  we  two  have  met  Life's  chances — 
You  are  so  good,  and  I  so  bad. 

I  am  so  bitter  and  malicious; 

Even  my  gifts  bear  wry  respect 
To  you,  who  are  so  sweet  and  gracious 

And  oh,  so  righteously  correct. 

2. 

0,  du  kanntest  Koch  und  Kuche 

Oh,  you  knew  the  cook  and  kitchen, 
Every  turn  and  nook  and  bin; 

In  our  childhood  plays  and  struggles 
You  would  be  the  one  to  win. 

Now  you've  won  my  own  beloved, 
That  is  droll;  but,  truth  to  tell, 

This,  my  friend,  is  even  droller: 
I  must  smile  and  wish  you  well! 


Songs  29 

3- 
0,  die  Liebe  macht  uns  selig 

"  Oh,  'tis  Love  that  makes  us  grateful, 
Oh,  'tis  Love  that  makes  us  rich !  " 

So  sings  man,  and  every  fateful 
Echo  bears  his  amorous  speech. 

You,  you  know  the  song's  own  spirit 

And  its  inner  meaning,  too; 
Joyfully  you  wait  and  hear  it 

Till  the  great  day  dawns  for  you. 

Till  the  bride,  with  a  caressing 

Smile  is  yours,  from  head  to  feet, 

And  her  father  gives  his  blessing — 
And  a  few  things  more  concrete. 

Linen,  silver  by  the  crate ful, 

Silks  with  many  a  costly  stitch.  .   .   . 

Oh,  'tis  Love  that  makes  us  grateful, 
Oh,  'tis  Love  that  makes  us  rich ! 


30  Book  of  Songs 

4- 
Der  weite  Boden  ist  iiberzogen 

The  ground  is  carpeted  with  flowers, 
The  woods  are  a  triumphal  arch; 

And  songsters  in  a  thousand  bowers 
Strike  up  a  glad  and  welcoming  march. 

It  is  the  Spring  who  enters,  spreading 
Joy  from  his  gay  and  sparkling  eyes .... 

You  should  have  asked  him  to  your  wedding, 
For  he  goes  gladly  where  true  love  lies ! 


ROMANCES 


THE   MOUNTAIN   ECHO 

Ein  Reiter  durch  das  Bergthal  zieht 

A  horseman  through  a  valley  rode 

Singing  a  solemn  stave : 
"  Am  I  nearer  now  to  my  true  love's  arms, 
Or  am  I  nearer  the  grave  ? 
There  was  no  answer,  save 
"Nearer  the  grave." 

And  farther  still  the  horseman  rode, 
And  a  sigh  broke  from  his  breast : 
"  Though  I  must  pass  to  my  last  abode, 
Perhaps  the  grave  brings  rest." 
And  echo  half-expressed 
"  The  grave  brings  rest" 

The  horseman  wept  a  single  tear 

And  from  his  cheek  it  fell, 
"  And  if  in  the  grave  there's  rest  for  me 
Then  all  in  the  grave  is  well." 
And  echo  rose  to  tell 
"  The  grave  is  well" 


33 


34  Book  of  Songs 

POOR  PETER 

i. 
Der  Hans  und  die  Grete  tanzen  herum 

Oh  Hansel  and  Gretel  are  dancing  around, 
There's  shouting  and  clapping  of  hands  there; 
But  Peter  looks  on  with  never  a  sound, 
And,  paler  than  chalk,  he  stands  there. 

For  Hansel  and  Gretel  are  bridegroom  and  bride, 
Around  them  the  radiance  lingers; 
But  Peter,  in  workaday  clothes,  turns  aside; 
He  mutters,  and  bites  his  fingers. 

Poor  Peter  still  gazes;  his  grief  is  intense 
And,  watching  the  pair,  he  starts  sighing: 
"  Oh  were  it  not  for  my  good,  common  sense 
I'd  end  all  my  sorrows  by  dying."  .  .   . 

2. 

"In  meiner  Brust,  da  sitzt  ein  Weh" 

"  Within  my  breast  there's  such  a  woe 

That  I  am  torn  asunder. 
It  stirs,  and  though  I  stay  or  go 

It  drives  me  always  yonder. 

"  It  drives  me  to  my  love,  it  cries 
As  though  she  still  could  heal  me. 

Alas,  one  look  from  Gretel's  eyes 
And  I  must  fly,  conceal  me. 


Romances  35 

"  I  climb  the  mountain's  highest  peak : 

Man  is,  at  least,  alone  there; 
Where  all  is  still  and  none  may  seek 

My  heart  may  weep  and  moan  there." 


3- 
Der  arme  Peter  wankt  vorbei 

Poor  Peter,  he  goes  stumbling  by 
As  pale  as  lead,  ashamed  and  shy. 
And  all  the  people  stand  and  stare 
Whenever  Peter  passes  there. 

The  girls  all  whisper,  "  Give  him  room, 
He  must  have  risen  from  the  tomb." 
Ah  no,  my  dears,  your  anguish  save; 
He's  only  going  to  his  grave. 

He's  lost  his  love;  his  future's  dim 
And  so  the  grave's  the  place  for  him. 
For  there  his  tortured  spirit  may 
Await  in  peace  the  Judgment  Day. 

THE  GRENADIERS 

Nach  Frankreich  zogen  zwei  Grenadier' 

Toward  France  there  journeyed  two  grenadiers 

Who  had  been  captured  in  Russia; 
And  they  hung  their  heads  and  their  eyes  had  tears 

As  they  came  to  the  border  of  Prussia. 


36  Book  of  Songs 

They  heard  the  terrible  news  again 
That  France  had  been  lost  and  forsaken ; 

Her  armies  were  beaten,  her  captains  were  slain, 
And  the  Emperor,  the  Emperor  was  taken ! 

Together  they  wept,  these  two  grenadiers, 
To  one  thing  their  thoughts  kept  returning — 

"  Alas,"  cried  one,  half -choked  with  tears, 
"  Once  more  my  old  wound  is  burning." 

The  other  said,  "  The  tale  is  told : 

I'd  welcome  Death  about  me, 
But  I've  a  wife  and  child  to  hold; 

What  would  they  do  without  me?" 

"  What  matters  wife?    What  matters  child? 

With  far  greater  cares  I  am  shaken ; 
Let  them  go  and  beg  with  hunger  wild — 

My  Emperor,  my  Emperor  is  taken! 

"  And  this,  oh  friend,  my  only  prayer 

When  I  am  dying,  grant  me: 
You'll  carry  my  body  to  France  and  there 

In  the  sweet  soil  of  France  you'll  plant  me. 

'  The  cross  of  honor  with  crimson  band 

Lay  on  my  heart  to  cheer  me ; 
Then  put  my  musket  in  my  hand 

And  strap  my  sabre  near  me. 

"  And  so  I  will  lie  and  listen  and  wait 
Like  a  sentinel,  down  in  the  grass  there. 

Till  I  hear  the  roar  of  the  guns,  and  the  great 
Thunder  of  hoofs  as  they  pass  there. 


Romances  37 

"  And  the  Emperor  will  come,  and  his  columns  will 
wave; 

And  the  swords  will  be  flashing  and  rending — 
And  I  will  arise,  full-armed  from  the  grave, 

My  Emperor,  my  Emperor  attending ! " 

THE    MESSAGE 

Mem  Knecht!  steh  auf  und  sattle  schnell 

My  page!  arise  and  quickly  mount 

The  horse  of  swiftest  stride; 
And  breathlessly,  through  wood  and  field, 

To  Duncan's  palace  ride. 

Wait  softly  in  the  stable  there 

Until  you  are  espied; 
Then  ask,  "  Which  one  of  Duncan's  girls 

Is  going  to  be  a  bride  ?  " 

And  if  they  say  "  The  dark-haired  one  " 

Then  rush  home  like  the  blast. 
But  if  they  say  "  The  light-haired  one  " 

You  need  not  ride  so  fast. 

But  in  the  village  buy  a  rope, 

A  rope  with  toughened  strands. 
Then  ride  back  slowly,  speak  no  word, 

And  place  it  in  my  hands. 


Book  of  Songs 

THE   MINNESINGERS 
7tU  dem  Wettgesange  schreiten 

Come  the  minnesingers,  raising 
Dust  and  laughter  and  lament. 

Here's  a  contest  that's  amazing; 
Here's  a  curious  tournament. 

Wild  and  ever  restless  Fancy 

Is  the  minnesinger's  horse, 
Art  his  shield,  the  Word  his  lance;  he 

Bears  them  brightly  round  the  course. 

Many  women  pleased  and  pleasant, 
Smile  and  drop  a  flower  down; 

But  the  right  one's  never  present 
With  the  rightful  laurel-crown. 

Other  fighters  nimbly  canter 

To  the  lists,  care-free  and  whole ; 

But  we  minnesingers  enter 

With  a  death-wound  in  our  soul. 

And  the  one  who  wrings  the  inmost 
Song-blood  from  his  burning  breast, 

He's  the  victor ;  he  shall  win  most 
Praise  and  smiles  and  all  the  rest. 


Romances  39 

THE  WOUNDED  KNIGHT 

Ich  weiss  eine  alte  Runde 

I  know  an  old,  old  story ; 

Sad  is  the  sound  thereof : 
A  knight  lies  worn  and  wounded 

With  grief  for  a  faithless  love. 

He  knows  her  faithless  and  scorns  her 

Yet  hangs  on  her  wretchedly; 
He  knows  his  passion  is  shameful, 

Yet  knows  it  is  stronger  than  he. 

He  longs  to  ride  to  the  tourney 
And  shout  with  a  challenging  stir, 

"  Let  him  prepare  for  the  death-blow 
Who  finds  a  blemish  in  her ! " 

But  well  he  knows  there'd  be  silence 

From  all  save  his  own  unrest; 
And  his  own  lance  would  have  to  be  leveled 

At  his  loud  and  accusing  breast. 


THE   LESSON 

Mutter  zum  Bienelein 

"  Little  bee,  little  bee, 
Careful — stay  close  to  me." 
But  what  a  bee  should  hear 
Falls  on  a  heedless  ear. 


4O  Book  of  Songs 

Soon  to  the  light  he  flies, 
Deaf  to  his  mother's  cries 
Calling  him  tremblingly : 
"Little  bee!    Little  bee!" 

Blood  of  youth,  never  tame, 
Seeks  the  eternal  flame, 
Where  it  burns  fierce  and  free. 
"  Little  bee— little  bee." 

Now  with  a  mighty  breath 
Flame  seeks  a  flaming  death  .  , 
"  Careful — beware  of  joy — 
Oh,  my  boy!    Little  boy!" 


ABSOLUTELY! 

Wenn  der  Fruhling  kommt  mit  dem  Sonnenschein 

When  the  Spring  comes  in  and  the  sun  is  bright 
Then  every  small  blossom  beckons  and  blows ; 
When  the  moon  on  her  shining  journey  goes 
Then  stars  swim  after  her  through  the  night. 
When  the  singer  looks  into  two  clear  eyes 
Then  something  is  stirred  and  sweet  lyrics  arise  .  .  . 
But  flowers  and  stars  and  the  songs  just  begun, 
And  moonbeams  and  eyes  and  the  light  of  the  sun, 
No  matter  how  much  such  stuff  may  please, 
One  can't  keep  living  on  things  like  these. 


LYRICAL   INTERMEZZO 

NrZir\O 


(1822-1823) 


LYRICAL     INTERMEZZO 

Meine   Qual  und   melne  Klagen 

All  my  anguish,  all  my  rages, 

I  have  poured  and  nought  concealed  here; 
And,  if  you  should  turn  these  pages, 

You  will  find  my  heart  revealed  here. 

PROLOG 

Es  war  mal  eln  Ritter,  trubselig  und  stumm 

There  once  was  a  knight  full  of  sorrow  and  doubt, 
With  cheeks  white  as  snow ;  indecision 

Would  cause  him  to  totter  and  stagger  about 
As  though  he  were  trailing  a  vision. 

And  he  was  so  wooden,  so  awkward  and  dumb 

That  flowers  and  maidens,  whene'er  he  would 

come, 
Would  watch  him  and  laugh  in  derision. 

And  often  he'd  sit  in  his  gloom-shrouded  place 
(From  men  and  their  joys  he  had  broken) 

And  hold  out  his  arms  in  a  yearning  embrace, 
Though  never  a  word  would  be  spoken  .   .   . 

But  just  as  the  hours  to  midnight  now  ran, 

A  marvelous  singing  and  ringing  began, 
With  a  knock  at  his  door  for  a  token. 
43 


44  Book  of  Songs 

And  lo,  his  love  enters — a  zephyr  that  blows; 

Of  shimmering  sea-foam  her  dress  is. 
She  glows  till  she  grows  like  the  bud  of  a  rose, 

Her  veil  gleams  with  gems;  and  her  tresses 
Fall  to  her  feet  in  a  golden  array; 
Her  eyes  are  impassioned.    The  lovers  give  way 

And  yield  to  each  other's  caresses. 

He  holds  her  so  close  that  his  heart  almost  breaks. 

The  wooden  one  now  is  afire ; 
The  pallid  one  reddens,  the  dreamer  awakes, 

The  bashful  is  bold  with  desire. 
But  she,  she  coquettes  and  she  teases,  and  then 
With  her  magical  veil  she  must  blind  him  again, 

Who  blindly  does  nought  but  admire. 

In  a  watery  palace  of  crystalline  light 

She  has  'witched  him,  and  all  that  was  bitter 

Turns  golden  and  fair,  all  is  suddenly  bright ; 
His  eyes  are  bemused  with  the  glitter. 

The  nixie  still  presses  him  close  to  her  side; 

The  knight  is  the  bridegroom,  the  nixie  the  bride—- 
Her maidens  keep  playing  the  zither. 

Oh  sweetly  they  sing  and  sweetly  they  play; 

Fair  feet  in  the  dances  are  shown  there; 
The  knight  in  his  ardor  is  swooning  away 

And  tighter  he  clasps  her,  his  own  there  .   . 
Then  all  in  an  instant  is  plunged  into  gloom, 
And  our  hero  is  sitting  once  more  in  his  room. 

In  his  poet's  dim  garret — alone  there ! 


\ 

Lyrical  Intermezzo  45 

i. 

Im  wunderschonen  Monat  Mai 

Twas  in  the  magic  month  of  May 

When  all  the  buds  were  springing, 
My  heart  was  filled  with  fervors, 

With  dreams,  and  young  Love  clinging  .  .  . 

'Twas  in  the  magic  month  of  May 

When  every  bird  was  singing; 
I  poured  out  all  the  raptures 

With  which  my  heart  was  ringing. 


2. 
Aus  metnen    Thranen   spriessen 

Out  of  my  tears  and  sorrows 
The  blossoming  flowers  arise, 

And  nightingales  in  choir 
Are  born  of  all  my  sighs. 

Dear  girl,  if  you  will  love  me 
Those  flowers  to  you  I'll  bring- 

And  here  before  your  window 
The  nightingales  will  sing. 


46  Book  of  Songs 

3- 

Die  Rose,  die  Lilje,  die  Taube,  die  Sonne 

The  rose  and  the  lily,  the  dove  and  the  sun, 
I  loved  them  all  once — before  Love  had  begun. 
I  love  them  no  more.    I  worship  now  solely 
The  one  and  the  only  most  holy  and  lowly. 
She  herself  is  the  spirit  of  all  these  in  one; 
Being  Rose  and  the  Lily,  the  Dove  and  the  Sun. 

4- 
Wenn  ich  in  deine  Augen  sell 

Whene'er  I  look  into  your  eyes 
Then  all  my  grief  and  sorrow  flies; 
And  when  I  kiss  your  mouth,  oh  then 
I  am  made  well  and  strong  again. 

And  when  I  lean  upon  your  breast 
My  soul  is  soothed  with  godlike  rest; 
But  when  you  swear,  "  I  love  but  thee !  " 
Then  I  must  weep — and  bitterly. 

5- 
Dein  Angesicht,  so  lieb  und  schb'n 

Your  face  so  sweet  and  fair,  it  seems 
A  vision  only  seen  in  dreams; 
So  seraph-like,  so  mild  and  frail, 
And  still  so  pale,  so  sadly  pale. 

Only  your  lips  are  red,  and  they 
Soon  kissed  by  Death  turn  cold  and  gray; 
And  dimmed  will  be  the  azure  skies. 
That  lie  within  those  holy  eyes. 


Lyrical  Intermezzo  47 

6. 
Lehn    deine   Wang'  an   meine   Wang* 

Oh  lean  your  cheek  upon  my  cheek, 

Our  tears  thus  shall  mingle  and  flow,  love ! 

And  to  my  heart  press  close  your  heart, 

The  flames  beating  so,  love,  shall  glow,  love ! 

And  when  the  leaping  radiance  glows 
With  tears  like  torrents  thronging, 

And  when  my  arms  are  enfolding  you  close, 
I  die  of  Love — and  longing! 

7- 

Ich  will  meine  Seele  tauchen 

I  will  baptize  my  spirit 

In  the  lily's  glowing  core; 
The  lily  shall  tremble  and  hear  it — 

A  song  of  the  one  I  adore. 

That  song  shall  live  and  have  me 
Thrilled  with  a  subtle  power, 

Like  the  kiss  that  once  she  gave  me 
In  a  sweet  and  poignant  hour. 

8. 
Es  stehen  unbeweglich 

Immovable   for  ages 

The  stars  are  set  above; 
They  look  upon  each  other 

With  all  the  pain  of  Love. 


48  Book  of  Songs 

And  oh,  they  speak  a  language, 
So  wondrous,  each  to  each, 

That  not  the  wisest  scholar 
Can  understand  their  speech. 

But  I  have  learned  it,  and  never 
Can  I  hear  it  again  unmoved ; 

For  lo,  I  used  as  a  grammar 
The  face  of  my  beloved ! 


9- 

Auf  Fliigeln  des  Gesanges 

On  the  wings  of  Song,  my  dearest, 
I  will  carry  you  off,  and  go 

To  where  the  Ganges  is  clearest; 
There  is  a  haven  I  know. 

In  the  moonlight's  glow  and  glister 

Fair  gardens  radiate; 
Eager  to  greet  their  sister 

The  lotus-flowers  wait. 

Violets  tease  one  another 

And  gaze  at  the  stars  from  the  vales; 
Roses  are  telling  each  other, 

Secretly,  sweet-scented  tales. 

And  lightly,  trespassing  slowly, 
Come  the  placid,  timid  gazelles; 

Far  in  the  distance,  the  holy 
River  rises  and  swells. 


Lyrical  Intermezzo  49 

O,  that  we  two  were  by  it! 

Beneath  a  palm  by  the  stream. 
To  drink  in  love  and  quiet, 

And  dream  a  peaceful  dream. 


10. 
Die  Lotosblume  angstigt 

The  lotus-flower  cowers 

Under  the  sun's  bright  beams; 

Humble  and  bowed  with  meekness 
She  waits  for  the  night  among  dreams. 

The  Moon,  he  is  her  lover, 
He  wakes  her  with  his  gaze; 

To  him  alone  she  uncovers 
The  fair  flower  of  her  face. 

She  glows  and  grows  more  radiant, 

And  gazes  mutely  above; 
Breathing  and  weeping  and  trembling 

With  love — and  the  pain  of  love. 


ii. 

Im  Rhein,  im  schonen  Strome 

In  the  Rhine,  that  stream  of  wonder, 
The  great,  the  holy  Cologne 

Is  mirrored,  and  there  under 

The  waves  the  Cathedral  is  shown. 


50  Book  of  Songs 

The  Cathedral  has  within  it 

A  portrait  done  in  gold; 
And,  in  my  wild  life's  sin,  it 

Has  taken  a  wondrous  hold. 

Mid  flowers  and  angels  she  stands  there 
Our  Lady  we  bow  before  .    .    . 

But  the  eyes  and  the  lips  and  the  hands  there 
Are  those  of  the  one  I  adore ! 


12. 
Du  lifbst  mich  nicht,  du  liebst  mich  nicht 

You  love  me  not  —  you  love  me  not 
Oh  that's  a  trivial  thing,  dear; 

For  when  I  see  your  face,  my  lot 
Is  that  of  any  king,  dear. 

You  hate  me,  hate  me  —  even  this; 

Your  red  lips  dare  declare  it! 
Oh,  let  me  have  those  lips  to  kiss 

And  I,  my  child,  can  bear  it. 


Du  sollst  mich  liebend  umschliessen 

Oh  come,  love  —  now  I  resign  me, 
I  yield  myself  to  your  charms; 

Oh  come,  that  you  may  intertwine  me 
With  the  tenderest,  supplest  of  arms 


Lyrical  Intermezzo  51 

And  winding  thus  and  wounding, 
Embracing  and  crushing,  is  shown 

The   fairest  of  serpents   surrounding 
The  happiest  Laocoon. 


14. 
O  schwore  nicht  und  kiisse  nur 

Oh  kiss  me,  love,  and  never  swear, 
For  women's  oaths  are  light  as  air  ! 
Your  speech  is  sweet,  but  sweeter  is 
The  silent  answer  in  your  kiss  ! 
'Tis  this  alone  that  has  my  faith  — 
The  word  is  but  a  perfumed  breath. 

Well,  swear  then,  love;  oh,  swear  away; 
I  will  believe  each  word  you  say! 
And  as  I  sink  upon  your  breast 
I  will  believe  that  I  am  blessed; 
I  will  believe  your  love  of  me 
Stretches  beyond  Eternity. 


Auf  melner  Herzliebsten  Augelein 

Upon  my  dearest's  little  eyes 

I  make  the  best  canzoni. 
Upon  her  mouth,  so  small  in  size, 

The  best  of  terza  rima. 
Upon  my  darling's  cheeks,  likewise 

I  make  the  loveliest  stanzas  .   .   . 
And  if  she  had  a  heart,  upon  it 
I'd  make  a  really  charming  sonnet. 


52  Book  of  Songs 

16. 
Die  Welt  ist  dumm,  die  Welt  ist  blind 

The  world  is  dull,  the  world  is  blind. 

Each  day  more  of  a  mad  one ! 
It  says,  my  dear,  that,  to  its  mind, 

Your  character^  a  bad  one. 

The  world  is  dull,  the  world  is  blind. 

Its  dullness  is  really  distressing; 
It  does  not  know  how  clinging  and  kind 

Are  your  kisses  that  burn  with  their  blessing. 

17- 
Liebste,  sollst  mir  heute  sagen: 

Come,  and  you  shall  tell  me,  dearest, 
Are  you  not  a  thing  of  dreams, 

Such  as,  when  the  Summer's  clearest, 
From  the  poet's  fancy  streams  ? 

Ah,  but  no — a  mien  so  mild,  dear, 
Such  a  mouth  and  eyes  that  wait ; 

Such  a  loving,  lovely  child,  dear, 
Not  a  poet  could  create. 

Basilisks  whose  glances  freeze  or 
Hippogriffs  and  dragons  dire; 

Horrid,  fabled  things  like  these  arc 
Fashioned  in  the  poet's  fire. 


Lyrical  Intermezzo  53 

But  yourself  and  your  pretenses, 

And  those  eyes  that  could  not  hate, — 

And  those  false  and  fervent  glances 
Not  a  poet  could  create. 


18. 
Wie  die   Wellenschaumgeborene 

Like  the  Foam-born,  my  love  glows  in 
Splendor  and  her  beauty's  pride, 

For  she  is  the  happy  chosen 
One  to  be  a  stranger's  bride. 

Tho'  this  treason  may  be  hard  on 
Thee,  my  heart,  thou  patient  one; 

Bear  it  without  sighs,  and  pardon 
What  the  pretty  fool  has  done. 

19. 
Ich  grolle  nicht,  und  wenn  das  Herz  auch  bricht 

I  will  not  mourn  altho*  my  heart  be  torn, 
Oh  love  forever  lost!    I  will  not  mourn. 
Altho'  arrayed  in  light  and  diamonds  bright, 
No  single  ray  falls  in  thy  heart's  deep  night. 

I  know  this  well.  ...  I  saw  thee  in  a  dream 
And  saw  the  night  within  thy  heart  supreme; 
And  saw  the  snake  that  gnawed  upon  thy 

heart  .    .   . 
I  saw  how  wretched,  oh  my  love,  thou  art. 


54  Book  of  Songs 

20. 
3 a,  du  bist  elend,  und  ich  grolle  nicht 

Yes,  thou  art  wretched,  and  I  do  not  mourn  ; 

Wretched,  my  love,  it  seems  we  both  must  be ! 
Until  in  death  the  weary  heart  is  torn, 

Wretched,  my  love,  it  seems  we  both  must  be ! 

I  see  the  scorn  that  on  thy  lips  doth  ride, 
I  see  the  courage  in  thy  flashing  eye; 

I  see  thy  bosom  heave  with  quenchless  pride — 
Yet  thou  are  wretched,  wretched  even  as  I. 

Thy  lips  contract  with  unseen  wounds  and  pain, 
And  secret  tears  bedim  the  eyes  I  see; 

Thy  haughty  bosom  bears  the  hidden  bane — 
Wretched,  my  love,  it  seems  we  both  must  be. 


21. 
Das  1st  ein  Floten  und  Geigen 

Oh  what  a  piping  and  shrilling; 

The  trumpets  blaze  and  blare, 
To  wedding-music  thrilling 

My  love  is  dancing  there. 

And  with  what  a  droning  and  groaning 
The  drums  and  reeds  are  rent; 

The  while,  with  sobbing  and  moaning, 
The   cherubim   lament. 


Lyrical  Intermezzo  55 

22. 
So  hast  du  ganz  und  gar  vergessen 

So  now  you  have  forgotten  wholly 
How  once  your  heart  was  mine,  mine  solely; 
Your  heart  had  so  sweet  and  so  false  a  glow, 
Nought  could  be  sweeter  or  falser,  I  know. 

So  the  love  and  the  pain  is  forgotten  wholly 
That  tortured  my  heart  and  made  it  lowly , 
But  whether  the  pain  was  as  great  as  my  love, 
I  know  not.    I  know  they  were  both  great  enough. 


23- 
Und  wiissten's  die  Blumen,  die  kleinen 

And  were  it  made  known  to  the  flowers 
How  wounded  my  heart  must  be, 

Their  tears  would  fall  in  showers 
To  heal  my  agony. 

If  nightingale  and  linnet 

Knew  of  my  sadness  and  pain, 

Their  singing  would  have  in  it 
A  far  more  joyful  strain. 

If  sorrow's  tearful  traces 

The  golden  stars  could  see, 
They  would  come  down  from  their  places 

And  try  to  comfort  me. 


56  Book  of  Songs 

But  they  cannot  comprehend  it — 

One,  only,  knows  my  pain; 
She  took  my  heart  to  rend  it 

Again  and  yet  again. 

24. 
Warum  sind  denn  die  Rosen  so  blass 

Oh  why  are  all  the  roses  so  pale, 

My  love,  come  tell  me  why  ? 
Oh  why,  with  grasses  once  so  hale, 

Do  violets  droop  and  die? 

Oh  why,  to  the  sound  of  so  doleful  a  lute, 

Do  linnets  lift  their  wings? 
Oh  why  does  there  spring  from  each  fragrant  root 

The  odor  of  dead  things? 

Oh  why  does  the  sun  send  so  dreary  a  ray 
Over  fields  where  he  shone  so  brave  ? 

Oh  why  is  all  of  the  earth  as  gray 
And  desolate  as  a  grave? 

And  I,  myself,  am  so  troubled  and  weak; 

My  love,  why  should  this  be? 
Answer  my  own ;  my  lost  darling,  speak — 

Why  have  you  done  this  to  me  ? 

25- 
Sie  haben  dir  viel  erzdhlet 

They  have  told  you  many  stories 

And  made  a  great  to-do; 
But  why  my  spirit  worries  ^ 

Has  not  been  told  to  you. 


Lyrical  Intermezzo  57 

They  made  a  stir  and  pother, 
Complaining  and  shaking  the  head, 

"A  devil!  "  they  said  to  each  other; 
And  you  believed  all  they  said. 

And  yet  the  very  worst  thing 
They  never  even  have  guessed; 

For  the  worst  and  most  accurst  thing, 
I  carry  hid  in  my  breast. 


26. 
Die  Linde  bl'uhte,  die  Nachtigall  sang 

The  linden  bloomed  and  the  nightingale  sang, 
The  great  sun  laughed  with  a  friendly  light; 

You  kissed  me,  my  love,  and  the  while  my  heart  sprang, 
To  your  palpitant  bosom  you  folded  me  tight. 

The  raven  screamed  harshly,  the  withered  leaves  fell, 
The  sun's  cold  greeting  was  sharpened  with  spite; 

We  beckoned  each  other  a  frosty  farewell, 
And  politely  you  curtsied  a  curtsey  polite. 


58  Book  of  Songs 

27. 

Wir  haben  vie  I  fur  einandcr  gefuhlt 

How  deep  we  were  wrapped  in  each  other's  life, 
How  well  we  behaved  (and  how  bitter  the  moral) 
How  often  we  played  at  man  and  wife, 
With  never  a  blow  or  the  sign  of  a  quarrel. 
We  sported  together  in  joy  and  in  jest 
And  tenderly  kissed  and  so  sweetly  caressed; 
And  finally  playing  like  children  that  go 
At  hide  and  seek  in  the  woodland  together, 
We  managed  to  stray  and  to  hide  ourselves  so 
That  each  of  us  now  is  lost  to  the  other. 

28. 
Ich  glaub1   nicht  an   den  Himmel 

I  have  no  faith  in  Heaven 
Of  which  the  preachers  write; 

Your  eyes  I  do  believe  in, — 
They  are  my  Heaven's  light. 

I  have  no  faith  in  Godhead 
Of  which  the  preachers  read; 

Your  heart  I  do  believe  in, — - 
No  other  God  I  need. 

I  have  no  faith  in  Satan, 
In  Hell  and  Hell's  fierce  smart; 

Your  eyes  I  do  believe  in, —          ^ 
And  in  your  wicked  heart. 


Lyrical  Intermezzo  59 

29. 
Du  bleibest  mir  treu  am  langsten 

You  were  steadfast  and  true  the  longest; 
Your  care  you  always  gave  me, 
Your  thought  would  cheer  and  save  me 

When  fear  and  need  were  strongest. 

A  gift  of  gold  would  not  grieve  you, 
And  food  you  ne'er  denied  me; 
With  linen  you  supplied  me 

Whene'er  I  had  to  leave  you. 

And  for  this  great  amount,  He, 
The  Lord,  I  pray  will  be  tender 
To  you  and  reward  the  splendor 

Of  your  everlasting  bounty. 

30. 
Die  Erde  war  so   lange  geizig 

The  earth  kept  hoarding  up  its  treasure ; 

May  spent  it  to  a  mighty  babel 
Of  all  that  laughed  and  voiced  its  pleasure — 

But  I,  I  find  I  am  not  able. 

The  bells'  and  flowers'  speech  reprove  me, 
The  birds  converse  as  in  the  fable; 

But  all  these  wonders  do  not  move  me, 
For  life  is  sad,  and  joy  unstable. 

Man  bores  me,  even  as  the  merest 
Gossip  of  friends  about  the  table — 

Because  she  is  no  longer  "  dearest/' 

But  "  Madam  "...  Hence  my  soul  wears 
sable. 


60  Book  of  Songs 


Und  ah  ich  so   lange,  so   lange  gesaumt 
And  thus,  as  I  wasted  so  many  a  day 
In  wandering  and  dreaming  the  hours  away, 
My  love  found  the  waiting  too  long  a  recess, 
So  she  started  to  sew  on  her  wedding-dress; 
And  she  caught  in  her  arms   (oh  deluded  and 

duped) 
As  husband,  the  stupidest  one  of  the  stupid. 

My  loved  one  is  so  mild  and  fair 
Her  likeness  haunts   me  everywhere; 
The  rose-cheeks  and  the  violet-eyes 
Year  in,  year  out,  their  ghosts  arise. 
And  that  I  should  lose  a  love  so  dear, 
Was  the  stupidest  act  of  my  stupid  career. 

32. 

Die  blauen  Veilchen  der  Augelein 
The  violets  blue  which  are  her  eyes, 
The  crimson  rose  which  her  cheek  outvies, 
The  lilies  white  which  her  hands  disguise, 
These  blossom  and  glow;  they  never  fade  — 
'Tis  but  the  heart  that  has  decayed. 

33- 
Die  Welt  ist  so  schb'n  und  der  Himmel  so  blau 

The  world  is  so  fair  and  the  heavens  so  blue 
And  the  breezes  so  mild  that  come  whispering  through, 
And  the  flowers  arise  on  the  roadside  anew, 
And  glisten  and  gleam  in  the  morning  dew, 
And  mankind  is  happy,  whatever  the  view  — 
And  yet  I  would  lie  in  the  grave  uncherished 
With   naught   but   the   ghost   of    a    Love   that   has 
perished. 


Lyrical  Intermezzo  61 

34- 
Mein  susses  Lieb,  wenu  du  im  Grab 

Love,  when  you  sink  where  darkness  lies 

Before  you  and  behind  you, 
I  shall  go  down  with  all  that  dies 

And  seek  you  out — and  find  you. 

I'll  clasp  you  with  kisses,  burning  and  wild, 
So  pale,  so  unmoved  and  so  cold  there; 

And  trembling  and  weeping  with  ecstasy  mild 
I  will  grow  like  a  corpse  and  mold  there  .  .  . 

The  dead  stand  up  as  Midnight  calls, 

They  dance  thro'  airy  spaces; 
We  two  remain,  wrapped  in  our  palls. 

I  lie  in  your  embraces. 

The  dead  stand  up;  the  Judgment  Day 

Calls  them  to  pain  or  pleasure. 
But  we  will  dream  the  hours  away 

Together  at  our  leisure. 

35- 
Ein  Fichtenbaum  steht  einsam 

A  pine  tree  stands  so  lonely 

In  the  North  where  the  high  winds  blow, 
He  sleeps;  and  the  whitest  blanket 

Wraps  him  in  ice  and  snow. 

He  dreams — dreams  of  a  palm-tree 

That  far  in  an  Orient  land, 
Languishes,  lonely  and  drooping, 

Upon  the  burning  sand. 


62  Book  of  Songs 

36. 

Schone,  helle,  goldne  Sterne 

Stars,  with  fair  and  golden  ray, 
Greet  my  loved  one  far  away; 
Say  that  I  still  wear  the  rue, 
Sick  at  heart  and  pale — and  true. 

37- 

Ach,  wenn  ich  nur  der  Schemel  war* 

(The  Head  Speaks:) 
Oh  were  I  but  the  stool  that  she 

Uses  to  rest  her  feet  from  pain ; 
Yea,  tho'  she  stamped  and  trod  on  me, 

I  would  not  murmur  or  complain. 

(The  Heart  Speaks:) 
Oh  were  I  but  the  cushion  too 

That  holds  the  needle  she  employs; 
Yea,  tho'  she  pierced  me  through  and 

through, 
Each  stab  would  wake  the  wildest  joys. 

(The  Song  Speaks:) 
Oh  were  I  but  the  least — the  mere 

Paper  with  which  she  curls  her  hair! 
Then  would  I  whisper  in  her  ear 

What  stirs  in  me,  and  all  I  dare. 


Lyrical  Intermezzo  63 

38. 

Sett  die  Liebste  war  entfernt 

Since  my  love  and  I  did  part 
Laughter  died  within  my  heart. 
Many  jesters  quip  and  quaff; 
But  I  cannot  hope  to  laugh. 

Since  my  love  was  lost  to  me 
Weeping  also  ceased  to  be. 
Broken,  tortured,  robbed  of  sleep — 
But  I  cannot  even  weep. 

39- 
Aus  meinen  grossen  Schmerzen 

From  my  great  grief,  I  fashion 

The  little  songs  I  utter; 

They  lift  bright  wings  and  flutter 
Off  to  her  heart  with  passion. 

Over  her  bosom  they  hover — 

But  soon  they  fly  homeward  complaining ; 

Complaining  but  never  explaining 
What,  in  her  heart,  they  discover. 

40. 
Ich   kann   es   nicht  vergessen 

It  will  not  die,  but  solely 

This  thought  comes  to  condole, 

How  once  I  had  you  wholly; 
Your  body  and  your  soul. 


64  Book  of  Songs 

Your  body  still  I  crave  for, 
Your  body's  lovely  growth. 

Your  soul  you  may  dig  a  grave  for, 
I've  soul  enough  for  us  both! 

I'll  cut  my  own  spirit  in  two,  dear, 
And  breathe  in  you  half  of  the  whole 

And  clasp  you — thus  forming  anew,  dear, 
One  perfect  body  and  soul. 


41. 
Philister   in   Sonntagsrocklein 

Smug  burghers  and  tradesmen  are  tripping 
Through  woods  in  the  smartest  style; 

Like  goats  they  are  hopping  and  skipping 
Admiring  '  fair  Nature '  the  while. 

In  eyes  that  are  bleary  and  blinking 

A  ray  of  Romance  springs; 
And  great,  long  ears  are  drinking 

The  song  the  sparrow  sings. 

But  I  am  beclouding  and  shrouding 
My  windows  with  curtains  of  gray; 

For  the  ghosts  of  my  fancies  are  crowding 
To  pay  me  a  visit  to-day. 

The  old  love  comes  in,  creeping 
From  Death's  immense  domain; 

She  sits  by  my  side,  and,  weeping,   , 
She  melts  my  heart  again. 


Lyrical  Intermezzo  65 

42. 
Manch  Blld  vergessener  Zeiten 

From  graves  of  times  forgotten 

Old  visions  come  to  me 
Revealing  what,  when  near  you, 

My  life  once  used  to  be. 

By  day  I  wandered  dreaming 
Through  streets  and  alleys  until 

The  people  looked  at  me  wondering; 
I  was  so  moody  and  still. 

By  night  'twas  somewhat  better — 
The  streets  were  an  empty  rout; 

And  I  and  my  shadow  together 
Went  staggering  blindly  about. 

With  ever-echoing  footsteps 
I  crossed  the  bridge  by  chance; 

The  moon  broke  through  the  darkness 
And  shot  me  an  earnest  glance. 

I  stood  there,  before  your  dwelling, 

And  gazed  into  the  night; 
And  gazed  up  at  your  window — 

My  heart  torn  at  the  sight  .   .   . 

I  know  that,  oft,  from  the  window, 
Those  lonely  streets  you  scanned, 

And  saw  me  in  the  moonbeams, 
Like  some  white  pillar  stand. 


66  Book  of  Songs 

43- 
Ein  Jiingling  liebt  ein  Madchen 

A  young  man  loves  a  maiden 

Whose  heart  for  another  has  yearned; 

This  other  loves  another 

By  whom  his  love  is  returned. 

The  maiden  weds  in  anger 
The  first  good  man  she  spies 

Who  runs  into  her  pathway; 
The  youth  grows  bitter  and  wise. 

It  is  an  old,  old  story 

But  one  that's  always  new; 

And  every  time  it  happens 
It  breaks  a  heart  in  two. 

44- 
Freundschaft,  Liebe,  Stein  der  Welsen 

Friendship,  Love,  the  Philosopher's  stone, 
These  three  things  are  ranked  alone ; 
These  I  sought  from  sun  to  sun, 
And  I  found — not  even  one! 

45- 
HQT    ich  das  Liedchen  kl'mgen 

I  hear  an  echo  singing 

The  song  She  sang  for  me; 

And  a  fresh  grief  is  wringing        it 
My  heart's  old  agony. 


Lyrical  Intermezzo  67 

A  wild  unrest  is  sweeping 

Me  where  the  high  woods  grow; 

There  I  shall  lose,  through  weeping, 
My  overburdening  woe. 


46. 

Es  schauen   die  Blumen  alle 

Now  all  of  the  flowers  are  gazing 
At  the  glowing  and  radiant  sun, 

And  all  of  the  brooks  are  seeking 
The  heart  of  the  sea  as  they  run. 

And  all  of  the  songs  are  flying 
To  the  most  desired  and  dear — 

Take  with  you  my  tears  and  my  sorrows, 
Ye  songs  that  are  saddened  and  drear. 


47- 
Mir  traumte  von   einem   Konigskind 

I  dreamed  of  the  daughter  of  a  king; 

With  teary,  weary  faces 
We  sat  beneath  a  linden's  wing 

Wrapt  in  each  other's  embraces. 

"  I  do  not  want  thy  father's  throne, 
His  scepter  with  gold  o'erladen, 

I  do  not  want  his  brilliant  crown, 
I  want  but  thee,  dear  maiden/' 


68  Book  of  Songs 

"  That  cannot  be,"  she  said  to  me, 
"  For  in  the  grave  I  am  lying, 

And  only  at  night  I  come  to  thee, 
Because  my  love  is  undying." 


Mein  Liebchen,  wir  sassen  beisammen 

My  dearest,  we  nestled  devoted, 
Alone  in  a  fairy-like  bark. 

The  night  was  still ;  and  we  floated 
Out  on  the  watery  dark. 

A  Spirit-Isle  we  discovered 

In  the  moonlight's  vague  expanse; 

Where  airy  music  hovered 

And  wove  with  a  misty  dance. 

The  sounds  were  sweet,  and  gladdened 
The  night  with  their  magicry. 

But  we — we  passed  it,  saddened 
And  worn  on  a  widening  sea. 


49- 
A  us  alien  Marc  hen  winkt  es 

From  ancient  fairy-stories 
Beckons  an  airy  hand; 

A  voice,  with  hints  of  glories, 
Sings  of  a  magic  land, 


Lyrical  Intermezzo  69 

Where  flowers  have  fairer  blossoms 

In  a  golden  evening's  grace, 
And  bare  their  fragrant  bosoms, 

Lifting  a  bridelike  face. 

Where  all  the  trees  are  voicing 

Their  songs,  as  in  a  choir; 
Where  rivers   dance,   rejoicing, 

And  every  wind's  a  lyre. 

Where  wilder  passions  quicken, 
Where  wilder  beauty  throngs, 

Till  you  are  wonder-stricken 
With  wonder-striking  songs ! 

Ah,  to  be  taken  yonder 

To  let  my  heart  go  free; 
There  in  a  land  of  wonder 

How  blessed  it  would  be  ... 

Ah,  Land  of  Pleasant  Places, 
Land  of  a  dreamer's  dream — 

Alas,  like  foam  it  passes, 
Swept  by  a  hurrying  stream. 


50. 
Ich  hab'  dick  gellebet  und  liebe  dich  nochf 

I  loved  thee  once — and  I  love  thee  now. 

Though  the  stars,  in  a  golden  shower, 
Should  fall  .  .  .  above  the  chaos  and  glow 

The  flame  of  my  love  would  tower ! 


70  Book  of  Songs 


Am  leuchtenden  Sommermorgen 

On  a  radiant  summer  morning 
Into  the  garden  I  come; 

The  flowers  rustle  and  whisper 
But  I  —  I  wander,  dumb. 

The  flowers  whisper  and  murmur, 
Pleading  as  only  they  can  : 

"  Oh  be  not  wroth  with  our  sister, 
Thou  bitter  and  sorrowful  man.'* 


52. 
Es  leuchtet  meine  Liebe 

My  love  and  its  dark  magic 
Troubles  me  with  its  might, 

Like  a  story,  tender  and  tragic, 
Told  on  a  summer  night : 

"  In  an  enchanted  bower 

Two  lovers  walk,  half -a  wake; 

The  moon,  like  a  great  white  flower, 
Lies  on  the  breast  of  a  lake. 

"  A  picture :  the  maid  almost  pliant, 
And  on  his  knees,  the  knight. 

When  lo,  from  the  shadows  a  giant  » 
Springs, — and  the  maid  takes  flight. 


Lyrical  Intermezzo  71 

"  The  knight  sinks  bleeding  and  dying, 
The  giant  tramps  back  to  his  hold  "... 

When  in  the  grave  I  am  lying 
The  rest  of  the  tale  will  be  told. 


53- 
Sie  haben  mich  gequ'dlet 

Many  have  made  me  wretched, 

Made  mine  an  evil  fate ; 
Some  of  them  with  their  loving, 

Some  of  them  with  their  hate. 

My  cup  has  been  filled  with  poisons, 
They  poisoned  the  bread  I  ate; 

Some  of  them  with  their  loving, 
Some  of  them  with  their  hate. 

Yet  she,  whose  poison  made  me 
Wretched  all  men  above, 

Gave  me  no  word  of  hatred, — 
And  not  a  spark  of  love. 


54- 
Es  liegt  der  heisse  Sommer 

The  golden  flame  of  Summer 
Burns  in  your  glowing  cheek ; 

But  in  your  heart  lies  Winter, 
Barren  and  cold  and  bleak. 


72  Book  of  Songs 

Soon  it  will  change,  my  darling, 
Far  sooner  than  you  seek ; 

Your  heart  will  harbor  Summer, 
While  Winter  lines  your  cheek. 


55- 

Wenn  zwei  von  einander  scheiden 

When  two  who  love  are  parted, 
They  talk,  as  friend  to  friend, 

Clasp  hands  and  weep  a  little, 
And  sigh  without  an  end. 

We  did  not  weep,  my  darling, 
Nor  sigh  "  Why  must  this  be  . 

The  tears,  the  sighs,  the  anguish 
Came  later — and  to  me. 


56. 

Sie  sassen  und  tranken  am  Theetisch 

'Twas  tea-time — the  mildly  esthetic 
Ensemble  took  '  Love '  as  their  theme ; 

The  mood  of  the  guests  was  '  poetic  ' ; 
They  gushed  like  a  lyrical  stream. 

"  True  love  must  be  always  platonic," 
A  hardened  old  councilor  cried. 

With  a  laugh  that  was  almost  ironic  t 
His  wife  looked  upward  and  sighed. 


Lyrical  Intermezzo  73 

A  canon  spoke,  "  We  must  resist  'em, 
These  pleasures  that  rouse  and  harass, 

Or  else  they  will  ruin  the  system." 

And  a  pretty  young  thing  lisped,  "  Alas." 

The  countess,  drooping  and  yearning, 

Said,  "  Love  must  sweep  on  like  the  sea !  " 

As,  elegantly  turning, 

She  handed  the  baron  his  tea. 

Still,  it  was  not  quite  complete,  dear — 

Your  place  stood  empty  above. 
And  oh,  it  would  have  been  sweet,  dear, 

To  hear  you  prattle  of  love. 

57- 
V-ergiftet  sind  meine  Lieder 

My  songs,  they  say,  are  poisoned. 

How  else,  love,  could  it  be? 
Thou  hast,  with  deadly  magic, 

Poured  poison  into  me. 

My  songs,  they  say,  are  poisoned. 

How  else,  then,  could  it  be? 
I  carry  a  thousand  serpents 

And,  love,  among  them — thee! 

58. 

Mir  traumte  wieder  der  alte  Traum 

Again  the  old  dream  came  to  me: 
'Twas  May;  the  world  was  vernal; 

We  sat  beneath  the  linden  tree 
And  pledged  a  faith  eternal. 


74  Book  of  Songs 

Great  love  and  a  deathless  oath  we  swore. 

And  that  I  might  ne'er  forget  it, 
With  a  passionate  kiss  and  a  thousand  more 

You  took  my  hand — and  bit  it. 

Oh  sweetheart  with  the  lips  that  cling, 

With  eyes  so  clear  and  merry, 
The  oath  was  quite  the  proper  thing — 

The  bite,  unnecessary ! 

59- 
Ich  steti  auf  des  Berges  Spitze 

I  stand  on  the  mountain's  summit 

Emotional  and  absurd. 
Sighing  these  maudlin  verses : 

"Would  that  I  were  a  bird!" 

Oh  if  I  were  a  swallow 

I'd  fly  to  you  for  rest, 
And,  underneath  your  window, 

I'd  build  my  little  nest. 

And  if  I  were,  oh  dearest, 

A  splendid  nightingale, 
All  night  you'd  hear  me  singing 

From  many  a  verdant  vale. 

And  if  I  were  a  jay-bird 
My  hopes  to  you  I'd  raise; 

For  you  are  kind  to  jay-birds 
And  to  the  woes  of  jays ! 1 

1  In  this  verse  Heine  puns  satirically  on  the  word  Gimpel 
which  can  mean  either  '  a  bullfinch '  or  '  a  fool.'  Having  nc 
exact  equivalent  in  English  ornithology,  I  have  been  compelled 
to  substitute  another  sort  of  bird. 


Lyrical  Intermezzo  75 

60. 
Mein  Wagen  rollet  langsam 

My  carriage  rolls  on  slowly; 

Woods  are  a  cheerful  green ; 
Valleys  exult  with  flowers — 

The  world's  a  magic  scene! 

I  sit  and  think  of  my  loved  one, 
And  dream  that  she  might  be  here  ; 

And  lo,  at  my  side  three  phantoms 
Curtsey  and  grin  and  leer. 

They  bow  and  they  bob  and  they  caper, 
Mocking,  yet  bashful  and  kind  .  .  . 

And  then,  like  an  eddy  of  vapor, 
They  titter  and  pass  with  the  wind. 

61. 
Ich  hob'  im  Traum  geweinet 

I  wept  as  I  lay  dreaming, 

I  dreamed  that  you  had  died. 
And,  when  I  woke,  the  tear-drops 

Clung  to  my  cheeks  undried. 

I  wept  as  I  lay  dreaming, 

I  dreamed  you  were  false  to  me. 

I  woke,  and  for  many  hours 
Lay  weeping  bitterly. 


76  Book  of  Songs 

I  wept  as  I  lay  dreaming, 

I  dreamed  that  your  love  was  true !  .  . 
I  woke,  to  an  endless  weeping, 

And  the  endless  thought  of  you. 


62. 

Allnachtlich  im  Traume  sell   ich  dich 

Beloved,  in  dreams  we  often  meet, 

And  lo,  your  voice  is  kindly. 
I  fling  myself  at  your  gracious  feet, 

And  weep  there,  long  and  blindly. 

You  shake  your  fair  head,  sunbeam-swept, 

And  oh,  that  look  appealing! 
As  out  of  eyes  that  never  wept 

The  blessed  tears  come  stealing. 

You  whisper  a  word  for  me  alone 

And  give  me  a  wreath,  dream-begotten  . 

I  wake — and  the  cypress-wreath  is  gone, 
And  the  word  is  quite  forgotten ! 

63- 

Das  ist  ein  Brausen  und  Heulen 

A  howling  storm  is  brewing, 
The  wind  and  rain  are  wild ; 

And  what  can  my  love  be  doing,    t 
That  pale  and  frightened  child  ? 


Lyrical  Intermezzo  77 

There  at  the  window  dreaming, 

I  see  her,  worn  and  white; 
With  eyes  no  longer  beaming, 

She  stares  into  the  night. 


64. 

Der  Herbstwind  ruttelt  die  Baume 

Wild  Autumn  shakes  the  branches, 

The  night  is  damp  and  cold; 
I  ride  through  a  lonely  forest, 

Wrapped  in  my  cloak's  gray  fold. 

And,  as  I  ride,  my  fancies 

Fly  faster  along  the  road ; 
They  bear  me,  light  and  eager, 

To  her  beloved  abode. 

The  dogs  awake;  the  torches 
Flare,  and  the  whole  house  stirs; 

I  storm  the  spiral  staircase 

And  mount,  with  a  clatter  of  spurs. 

Lo,  in  her  own  soft  chamber, 
Warm  with  its  fragrant  charms, 

My  love  awaits  me,  smiling — 
I  fly  to  her  open  arms  .  .  . 

I  hear  the  oak-tree  speaking; 

The  wind,  in  the  branches,  screams : 
"  What  wouldst  thou,  oh  wild  horseman — 

Thou,  and  thy  wilder  dreams !  " 


78  Book  of  Songs 


Es  fallt  ein  Stern  herunter 

A  star,  a  star  is  falling 

Out  of  the  glittering  sky  ! 
The  star  of  Love  !    I  watch  it 

Sink  in  the  depths  and  die. 

The  leaves  and  buds  are  falling 
From  many  an  apple-tree; 

I  watch  the  mirthful  breezes 
Embrace  them  wantonly. 

A  swan,  a  swan  is  singing; 

I  watch  it  floating  by  ; 
And,  drooping  low  and  lower, 

The  song  and  singer  die. 

It  is  so  dark  and  silent! 

The  star  that  burned  so  long 
Is  dust;  the  leaves  are  ashes; 

Hushed  is  the  swan's  last  song. 

66. 
Der  Traumgott  bracht'  mich  in  ein  Riesenschloss 

The  Dream-God  led  me  to  a  castle  grim 

Full  of  strange  lights,  strange  scents  and  strange 
glamor  ; 

And  through  great  labyrinths  there  seemed  to  swim 
Wild  multitudes  whom  nothing  could  enamor. 

Onward  they  swept,  through  halls  and  portals  dim, 
Wringing  pale  hands  with  an  incessant  clamor. 

Maidens  and  knights  I  saw  among  the  throng 

And,  with  the  torrent,  I  was  borne  along.  * 


Lyrical  Intermezzo  79 

When  suddenly  I  was  alone — and  lo, 

I  could  not  find  a  single  face  whatever.    - 

Through  frowning  aisles  and  winding  rooms  I  go; 
Fiercely  impelled  by  one  intense  endeavor. 

But  oh,  my  feet  are  lead,  my  footsteps  slow  .   .   . 
To  find  the  gate,  and  leave  this  place  forever! 

At  last,  I  gain  the  portals  with  a  prayer, 

Fling  wide  the  door  and  leap  .    .    .   Oh  God,  who's 
there! 


My  love !    Beside  that  door  I  saw  her  stand, 

Pain  on  her  lips  and  Sorrow's  crown  above  her. 

Backward  she  turned  me  with  a  waving  hand, 
Threatening  or  warning,  I  could  not  discover  .   . 

Yet,  from  her  eyes,  sprang,  like  a  sweet  command, 
A  fire  that  made  me  once  again  her  lover. 

Tender  and  strong,  her  very  glances  spoke 

The  flaming  speech  of  Love — and  I  awoke. 


67. 

Die  Mitternacht  war  kalt  und  stumm 

'Twas  midnight,  still  and  very  cold ; 
Through  the  dark  woods  I  sang  and  strolled. 
I  shook  the  trees  with  my  doleful  ditty — 
They  only  nodded  their  heads,  in  pity. 


8o  Book  of  Songs 

68. 
Am  Kreuzweg  wird  begraben 

They  buried  him  at  the  cross-roads, 
Whose  own  hand  wrought  his  doom ; 

And  over  him  grow  blue  flowers 
Called  the  "  Poor-Sinner's  Bloom." 

I  stand  at  the  cross-roads  sighing, 
Wrapped  in  a  cloak  of  gloom, 

And  watch  the  moonlight  trembling 
On  the  Poor-Sinner's  Bloom. 

69. 

Wo  ich  bin,  mich  rings  umdunkelt 

Now  the  night  grows  deeper,  stronger ; 

Darkness  dense  about  me  lies, 
Since  the  stars  died ;  since  no  longer, 

Love,  I  can  behold  your  eyes. 

Dimmed,  forgotten  is  the  dawning 
Of  that  great  and  golden  light ; 

At  my  feet  the  pit  is  yawning. 
Take  me — stark,  eternal  Night! 

70. 
Nacht  lag  auf  meinen  Augen 

Night  lay  upon  my  eyelids, 
Upon  my  mouth  lay  lead ; 

My  heart  and  brain  were  barren  ^ 
I  lay  with  all  the  'dead. 


Lyrical  Intermezzo  81 

How  long  I  lay  there,  sleeping 

I  know  not ;  but  I  gave 
A  start  and  turned,  for  knocking 

Sounded  above  my  grave. 

"  Rise  up,  rise  up,  oh  Heinrich, 

The  Dawn  eternal  breaks, 
When  all  the  dead  are  risen 

And  deathless  Joy  awakes." 

I  cannot  rise,  my  dearest  ; 

Your  face  I  cannot  find — 
I've  wept  until  my  sorrows 

And  tears  have  made  me  blind. 

"  From  your  dear  eyes,  oh  Heinrich, 

I'll  kiss  the  night  away  ; 
And  you  shall  see  the  angels, 

And  Heaven's  bright  array." 

I  cannot  rise,  my  dearest, 

Bleeding  I  lie,  unstirred; 
Since,  to  the  heart,  you  stabbed  me 

With  one  sharp,  bitter  word. 

"  Softly  I'll  lay,  oh  Heinrich, 

My  hand  upon  your  heart, 
And  it  will  bleed  no  longer, 

And  I  will  soothe  the  smart." 

I  cannot  rise,  my  dearest, 

My  head  is  bleeding  too ; 
Tis  there  I  fired  the  pistol 

The  day  that  I  lost  you ! 


82  Book  of  Songs 

"  With  my  own  hair,  oh  Heinrich, 
I'll  stop  the  gaping  wound, 

Press  back  the  streaming  torrent 
And  make  you  strong  and  sound. " 

So  soft  her  call,  so  tender, 
She  could  not  be  denied — 

I  strove  to  rend  my  coffin 
And  struggle  to  her  side  .  .  . 

Then  all  my  wounds  burst  open ; 

I  felt  the  torrent  break 
From  head  and  burning  bosom  .  .  . 

And  lo,  I  was  awake! 


Die  alien  bosen  Lieder 

The  songs,  so  old  and  bitter, 
The  dreams  so  wild  and  drear, 

Let's  bury  them  together — 
What  ho!  A  coffin  here! 

I  have  so  much  to  bury 

It  never  will  be  done, 
Unless  the  coffin's  larger 

Than  Heidelberg's  great  Tun. 

And  bring  a  bier  to  match  it 
Of  stoutest  oaks  and  pines ; 

It  must  be  even  longer 

Than  the  long  bridge  at  Mainz. 


Lyrical  Intermezzo 

And  also  bring  twelve  giants 
Of  mightier  brawn  and  bone 

Than  Christopher,  the  sainted, 
Whose  shrine  is  in  Cologne. 

And  in  the  great  sea  sink  it 
Beneath  the  proudest  wave; 

For  such  a  mighty  coffin 

Should  have  a  mighty  grave  . 

You  know  what  makes  my  coffin 
So  great,  so  hard  to  bear  ? 

It  holds  my  love  within  it, 
And  my  too  heavy  care. 


THE   HOME-COMING 
(1823-1824) 


I. 

In  mein  gar  zu  dunkles  Leben 

In  my  life's  enshrouded  darkness 
Once  a  vision  shed  its  light; 

Now,  that  phantom  radiance  vanished, 
I  am  wrapped  again  in  night. 

Children,  when  oppressed  by  darkness, 
When  their  happy  hearts  are  cowed, 

To  allay  their  fears  and  trembling 
Sing  a  song — and  sing  too  loud. 

I,  a  child  half-crazed,  am  singing, 
Singing  in  the  darkness  here  .  .  . 

If  my  song  is  loud  and  raucous, 
It,  at  least,  has  soothed  my  fear. 

2. 

Ich  weiss  nicht,  was  soil  es  bedeuten 

I  do  not  know  why  this  confronts  me, 
This  sadness,  this  echo  of  pain ; 

A  curious  legend  still  haunts  me, 
Still  haunts  and  obsesses'  my  brain : 

The  air  is  cool  and  it  darkles ; 

Softly  the  Rhine  flows  by. 
The  mountain  peak  still  sparkles 

In  the  fading  flush  of  the  sky. 
87 


88  Book  of  Songs 

And  on  one  peak,  half -dreaming 
She  sits,  enthroned  and  fair; 

Like  a  goddess,  dazzling  and  gleaming, 
She  combs  her  golden  hair. 

With  a  golden  comb  she  is  combing 
Her  hair  as  she  sings  a  song — 

A  song  that,  heard  through  the  gloaming, 
Is  magically  sweet  and  strong. 

The  boatman  has  heard ;  it  has  bound  him 
In  the  throes  of  a  strange,  wild  love. 

He  is  blind  to  the  reefs  that  surround  him ; 
He  sees  but  the  vision  above. 

And  lo,  the  wild  waters  are  springing — 
The  boat  and  the  boatman  are  gone  .   . 

And  this,  with  her  poignant  singing, 
The  Loreley  has  done. 


3- 
Mem  Herz,  mem  Herz  ist  traurig 

My  heart  is  full  of  sorrow 
Though  May  is  full  of  cheer; 

I  stand  beside  the  linden, 
High  on  the  bastion  here. 

I  watch  the  blue  moat  idly; 

Gently  it  flows  along. 
A  boy  in  a  drifting  rowboat 

Angles  and  whistles  a  song. 


The  Home-Coming  89 

Beyond,  like  a  quaint,  toy  village, 

Tiny  and  many-hued, 
Are  houses,  gardens  and  people, 

Oxen  and  meadow  and  wood. 

To  bleach  their  piles  of  linen 

The  laughing  maidens  come ; 
The  millwheel  spatters  diamonds; 

I  hear  its  distant  hum. 

Upon  the  old,  gray  tower 

A  sentry-box  stands  low ; 
And  there  a  chap  in  scarlet 

Is  pacing  to  and  fro. 

He  practises  with  his  rifle 

That  catches  the  sunset's  red ; 
He  shoulders  it  and  presents  it — 

Would  that  he  shot  me  dead ! 


4- 
Im  Walde  wandV  ich  und  weine 

I  pace  the  greenwood,  bitter 

With  tears,  and  as  I  go 
A  thrush  begins  to  twitter, 

"  Why  are  you  sorrowing  so?  " 

I 

Ask  of  your  sisters,  the  swallows; 

They  know  though  none  of  them  tells 
They  nest  in  the  eaves  and  hollows 

Where  the  beloved  dwells. 


90  Book  of  Songs 

5- 

Die  Nacht  ist  feucht  und  stiirmisch 

The  night  is  wet  and  stormy, 
No  stars  are  in  the  sky; 

The  boughs  in  the  forest  whisper. 
I  wander  slowly  by. 

Far  off  a  candle  glimmers 

From  the  forester's  lonely  room ; 

But  there  the  light  shall  not  lure  me, 
It  is  too  wrapped  in  gloom. 

The  sightless  grandmother's  sitting 
In  the  high-backed,  leather  chair ; 

She  listens,  stiff  as  a  statue, 
Uncanny  and  silent  there. 

Cursing  and  pacing  in  anger, 
The  forester's  red-headed  son 

Laughs  in  a  burst  of  fury 
And  throws  aside  his  gun. 

The  girl  weeps  at  her  spinning, 

And  moistens  the  flax  with  her  tears. 

While  at  her  feet,  the  dachshund 
Trembles  with  unknown  fears. 


The  Home-Coming  91 

6. 
A  Is  ich  auf  der  Reise  zufallig 

By  chance  I  met  on  my  journey 

My  dear  one's  family; 
Sister  and  mother  and  father  ; 

Smiling,  they  greeted  me. 

How  was  my  health — and  spirits? 

They?  ...  Oh,  the  same  old  tale. 
I  hadn't  changed  much,  they  told  me, 

Only  a  trifle  pale. 

I  asked  about  aunts  and  cousins 
With  interest  (save  the  mark!) 

And  other  such  pleasing  people, 
And  the  dog,  with  his  gentle  bark. 

How  was  my  married  sweetheart 

Whom  they  had  left  behind  ? 
And  smilingly  they  told  me 

That  she  would  soon  be  confined. 

I  coughed  congratulations, 

And,  stammering  wretchedly, 
I  asked  them  all  to  greet  her 

A  thousand  times  for  me. 

Then  spoke  the  little  sister : 

'  That  puppy  pet  of  mine 

Grew  up  so  big  and  horrid, 

We  drowned  him  in  the  Rhine." 


92  Book  of  Songs 

The  child  resembles  her  sister, 
Sometimes  remarkably  so — 

Those  eyes  and  that  way  of  laughing 
That  brought  me  so  much  woe. 


7- 
Wir  sassen  am  Fischerhause 

We  sat  at  the  hut  of  the  fisher 
And  idly  watched  the  sea, 

While  in  the  hush  of  evening 
The  mists  rose  silently. 

The  yellow  lights  in  the  lighthouse 
Shone  like  a  burnished  bell, 

And  in  the  hazy  distance 
One  ship  still  rose  and  fell. 

We  spoke  of  storm  and  shipwreck, 

Of  sailors  and  their  life, 
Pulled  between  sky  and  water, 

Fierce  joy  and  lusty  strife. 

We  gossiped  of  distant  places, 

Of  North  and  of  South  we  spoke, 

Of  wild  and  curious  customs, 
And  wild  and  curious  folk. 

Of  how  the  Ganges  sparkles; 

Of  great  exotic  trees; 
Of  folk  who  worship  the  lotus 

Silently,  on  their  knees. 


The  Home-Coming  93 

Of  Lapland ;  its  slovenly  people, 

Flat-headed,  broad-featured  and  small, 

That  do  little  else  but  bake  fishes 

And  squat  by  the  fire  and  squall.  .  .  . 

The  girls  all  listened  breathless; 

Then  silence,  like  a  spell  .   .   . 
The  ship  could  be  seen  no  longer — 

Swiftly  the  darkness  fell. 


8. 
Du  schones  Fischermadchen 

Oh  lovely  fishermaiden, 

Come,  bring  your  boat  to  land ; 
And  we  will  sit  together 

And  whisper,  hand  in  hand. 

Oh  rest  upon  my  bosom, 
And  fear  no  harm  from  me. 

You  give  your  body  daily, 
Unfearing  to  the  sea.  .   .   . 

My  heart  is  like  the  ocean 

With  storm  and  ebb  and  flow — 

And  many  a  pearly  treasure 
Burns  in  the  depths  below. 


94  Book  of  Songs 

9- 
Der  Mond  ist  aufgegangen 

The  yellow  moon  has  risen, 

It  slants  upon  the  sea; 
And  in  my  arms'  soft  prison 

My  love  leans  close  to  me. 

Warm  with  her  gentle  clinging, 
I  lie  on  the  sands,  half  awake. 

"  Oh  what  do  you  hear  in  the  swinging 
Of  the  winds,  and  why  do  you  shake?  " 

"  That's  never  the  wind  that  is  swinging, 
That  murmur  that  troubles  me; 

It  is  the  mermaidens  singing — 
My  sisters  drowned  in  the  sea." 

10. 
Auf  den  Wolken  ruht  der  Mond 

The  moon  is  lying  on  the  clouds, 
A  giant  orange,  strangely  beaming; 

Stretched  upon  the  harsh  gray  sea 

Long  and  broadening  stripes  are  gleaming. 

Alone  I  wander  by  the  shore 

Where  the  waters  break  and  whiten, 

And  I  hear  a  watery  voice,  », 

And  my  pulses  leap  and  tighten. 


The  Home-Coming 

Oh,  the  night  is  far  too  long 
And  I  cannot  bear  this  quiet — 

Come,  ye  lovely  water-sprites, 
Dance  and  rouse  the  magic  riot. 

With  my  head  upon  your  lap, 

Hold  me  close  and  never  wake  me. 

Sing  me  dead  and  kiss  me  dead ; 
Heart  and  soul  and  body — take  me ! 


95 


ii. 


Eingehullt  in  graue  Wolken 

Wrapped  in  clouds,  as  in  a  mantle, 
Now  the  great  gods  sleep  together 

And  I  hear  them,  bravely  snoring, 
And  we're  having  awful  weather. 

It  grows  wilder ;  winds  are  howling 
And  the  masts  are  bent  like  willows. 

Who  can  curb  the  lordly  tempest, 
Put  a  bridle  on  the  billows ! 

I  can't  stop  it,  let  it  come  then ; 

Storms  and  terrors  without  number. 
I  will  wrap  my  mantle  round  me, 

And,  like  any  god,  I'll  slumber. 


96  Book  of  Songs 

12. 
Der  Wind  zieht  seine  Hosen  an 

The  wind  pulls  up  his  water-spouts, 
His  white  and  foaming  breeches  ;  * 

He  whips  the  waves  ;  he  storms  and  shouts. 
The  whole  sea  heaves  and  pitches  ! 

From  the  black  skies,  a  furious  might 
Impels  the  rain's  commotion  ; 

It  seems  as  though  the  ancient  Night 
Had  come  to  drown  the  ocean. 

To  the  mast  a  vagrant  sea-gull  clings 
Where,  hoarsely  shrilling  and  crying, 

As  though  in  despair,  she  flaps  her  wings  ; 
An  evil  prophesying  ! 


Der  Sturm  spielt  auf  zum  Tanze 

The  storm  tunes  up  for  dancing, 

It  yells  and  shrieks  away; 
Huzzah,  how  the  old  ship  waltzes  ! 

The  night  is  wild  and  gay  ! 

A  riot  of  tossing  mountains, 
Thus  seems  the  sea  to-night. 

Here,  yawns  a  sinking  chasm; 
There,  looms  a  wall  of  white. 

1The  original  of  the  first  two  lines  : 

Der  Wind  zieht  seine  Hosen  an, 

Die  zveissen  Wasserhosen  ! 

There  is  an  untranslatable  play  upon  words  here;  "  Hosen  "  being 
4  breeches  '  and  "  Wasserhosen  "  '  water-spouts.' 


The  Home-Coming 

The  sound  of  prayers  and  puking 
And  oaths  from  the  cabin  come ; 

I  cling  to  the  mast  with  a  vengeance — 
And  wish  that  I  were  home! 


97 


Wenn  ich  an  deinem  Hause 

I  pass  your  little  window 
The  mornings  that  are  fair, 

And  I  am  thrilled,  my  darling, 
Whene'er  I  see  you  there. 

Your  deep  brown  eyes  disturb  me, 
They  question  and  condole, 

"  Who  art  thou  and  what  ails  thee, 
Oh  pale  and  wandering  soul  ?  " 

I  am  a  German  poet, 

In  German  lands  I  shine; 

And  where  great  names  are  mentioned 
They're  sure  to  speak  of  mine. 

As  for  my  sickness,  darling, 
It's  rather  a  common  sign  .   .    . 

And  where  great  griefs  are  mentioned 
They're  sure  to  speak  of  mine. 

15- 
Das  Meer  erglanzte  weit  hinaus 

The  vastness  of  the  ocean  shone 
In  the  sunset's  final  gleaming. 

We  sat  in  the  fisher's  hut  alone  ; 
We  sat  there,  silent  and  dreaming. 


98  Book  of  Songs 

The  mist  crept  up,  the  waters  hove, 
The  gulls  kept  coming  and  going ; 

And  from  your  eyes  that  welled  with  love 
The  quiet  tears  were  flowing. 

I  saw  them  fall  upon  your  hand, 
And  then,  as  quickly  sinking 

Upon  my  knees,  from  that  white  hand 
I  drank  the  tears,  unthinking. 

And  from  that  hour  my  life  has  turned ; 

And  sorrow  leaves  me  never. 
That  wretched  woman's  tears  have  burned 

And  poisoned  me  forever. 


16. 
Da  droben  auf  jenem  Berge 

High  up  on  yonder  mountain 

A  castle  stands,  and  three 
Fair  maidens  live  within  it; 

They  love  me  generously. 

Saturday,  Yetta  kissed  me  ; 

Sunday,  Julia  was  free ; 
On  Monday,  Kunigunda 

With  love  near  smothered  me. 

But  Tuesday,  my  three  fair  charmers 

Gave  an  imposing  fete; 
The  neighborhood's  lords  and  ladie^ 

Came  riding  in  wagons  of  state. 


The  Home-Coming  99 

But  me  they  had  skipped  or  forgotten, 

And  that  was  a  poor  thing  to  do. 
Those  gossips,  the  old  aunts  and  cousins, 

They  noticed,  and  laughed  at  it  too. 


Die  Lilje  meiner  Liebe 

My  sweetheart  has  a  lily 

That  dreams  by  a  brook  all  day, 
It  turns  from  me,  and  stilly 

Its  beauty  seems  to  say: 

"  Go,  faithless  man,  your  rapture 
Has  left  me  cold.  .   .   .  Depart! 

I  saw  you  bend  and  capture 

The  Rose  with  your  faithless  heart." 


18. 
Am  fernen  Horizonte 

Wrapped  in  the  distant  sunset, 
Like  phantoms  in  a  mist, 

I  see  the  town  and  its  towers, 
All  rose  and  amethyst. 

A  damp  sea-breeze  is  rising; 

The  sea  grows  rough  and  dark. 
With  slow  and  sad  precision 

The  boatman  rows  my  bark. 


ioo  Book  of  Songs 

The  sun  looks  up  a  moment, 
Piercing  the  clouds  above, 

And  shows  me,  all  too  clearly, 
The  place  I  lost  my  love. 


19. 
Set  mir  gegrusst,  du  grosse 

Greetings  to  thee,  oh  city 

Of  power  and  mystery, 
That  once,  within  thy  bosom, 

Shielded  my  love  for  me. 

Tell  me,  oh  gates  and  towers, 
Where  is  my  loved  one,  where  ? 

Into  your  care  I  gave  her; 

You  should  have  kept  her  there. 

I  do  not  blame  the  towers, 

They  could  not  stir  where  they  stood, 

When  she,  with  her  trunks  and  boxes, 
Stole  off  as  fast  as  she  could. 

The  gates,  those  fools,  they  let  her 
Pass  through  them — and  were  still. 

Well,  fools  are  always  willing 
When  foolish  women  will.1 

1  The  original : 

Die  Thore  jedoch  die  li e sen 
Mein  Liebchen  entwischen  gar  still; 
Ein  Thor  ist  immer  willig, 
Wenn  eine  Thorin  will. 

Heine' puns  here  untranslatably  on  the  word  "Thor,"  which  is  either 
1  gate"  or  a  "fool";  "  Thorin"  being  the  feminine. 


The  Home-Coming  101 

20. 

So  wandl*  ich  wieder  den  alien  Weg 

To  old  paths  and  familiar  streets 

My  footsteps  have  reverted ; 
And  lo,  there  stands  the  Beloved's  house, 

So  empty  and  deserted. 

How  close  and  narrow  the  streets  have  grown ; 

The  pavement  itself  is  unstable! 
The  houses  topple  and  seem  to  fall  .  .  . 

I'm  off  as  fast  as  I'm  able ! 


21. 
Ich  trat  in  jene  Hallen 

I  stood  as  in  a  spell 

Where  she  swore  faith  undying ; 
And  where  her  tears  once  fell 

Serpents  were  hissing  and  lying. 


22. 
Still  1st  die  Nacht,  es  ruhen  die  Gassen 

The  night  is  still ;  the  streets  are  quiet ; 

My  sweetheart  dwelt  in  this  house  of  yore. 
Long  since  she  left  the  city's  riot; 

The  house  still  stands  as  it  stood  before. 


IO2  Book  of  Songs 

Here,  too,  there  stands  a  man  who  gazes 
On  heaven  and  wrings  his  hands  in  despair. 

Lo,  when  his  face  the  moonlight  glazes — 
It  is  myself  that  is  standing  there! 

Oh  pale,  worn  shadow,  oh  phantom  double, 
Why  ape  my  bitter,  love-sick  tears, 

That  drove  me  here  to  an  endless  trouble, 
Many  a  night  in  the  vanished  years. 


23- 
Wie  kannst  du  ruhig  schlafen 

How  can  you  sleep  so  soundly, 
Knowing  I'm  living.  See, 

When  the  old  rage  comes  on  me, 
What  is  a  yoke  to  me! 

There  is  a  song  that  tells  how 
A  lover  dead  and  brave 

Came  to  his  lass  at  midnight, 
And  brought  her  to  his  grave. 

Believe  me,  child  of  beauty, 
Bright  as  the  fiercest  star, 

I  live — and  am  ten  times  stronger 
Than  all  the  dead  men  are ! 


The  Home-Coming  103 

24. 
Die  Jungfrau  schlaft  in  der  Kammer 

A  maiden  lies  in  her  chamber 

Lit  by  a  trembling  moon; 
Outside  there  rises  and  echoes 

A  waltz's  giddy  tune. 

"  I  wonder  who  breaks  my  slumber ; 

I'll  go  to  the  window  and  see — " 
And  lo,  a  skeleton  stands  there; 

He  fiddles  and  sings  with  glee: 

"  A  dance  you  swore  to  give  me, 
And  you  have  broken  your  vow; 

To-night  there's  a  ball  in  the  churchyard; 
Come  out  and  dance  with  me  now !  " 

The  maid,  as  though  moved  by  magic, 
Obeys,  and  she  leaves  the  house; 

The  skeleton,  fiddling  and  singing, 
Goes  on  with  its  wild  carouse. 

It  fiddles  and  leaps  and  dances 
And  rattles  its  bones  to  the  tune; 

Its  skull  keeps  nodding  and  nodding 
Crazily  under  the  moon. 


IO4  Book  of  Songs 

25- 
Ich  stand  in  dunkeln  Trdumen 

I  stood  bewildered,  seeing 
Her  picture  there — and  lo, 

That  fair,  beloved  likeness 
Began  to  live  and  glow. 

About  her  lips  there  trembled 
A  laughter,  strange  and  dear ; 

And,  through  the  tears  of  sorrow, 
Her  gleaming  eyes  shone  clear. 

Wet  were  my  cheeks ;  the  tear-drops 
Were  falling  fast  and  free  .  .  . 

And  oh,  I  cannot  believe  it, 
That  you  are  lost  to  me ! 

26. 

Ich  ungliicksel'ger  Atlas!  eine  Welt 

I,  unfortunate  Atlas!    A  whole  world, 
A  monstrous  world  of  sorrows  I  must  carry. 
I  bear  a  weight  unbearable ;  a  burden 
That  breaks  the  heart  within  me. 

Oh  foolish  heart,  you  have  what  you  desired ! 
You  would  be  happy,  infinitely  happy, 
Or  infinitely  wretched,  foolish  heart.     , 
And  now — now  you  are  wretched ! 


The  Home-Coming  105 

27. 
Die  Jahre  kommen  und  gehen 

The  years  keep  coming  and  going, 

Men  will  arise  and  depart ; 
Only  one  thing  is  immortal : 

The  love  that  is  in  my  heart. 

Oh  once,  only  once,  might  I  see  thee, 
Ere  I  break  these  fetters  in  shards, 

And  kneel  to  thee  dying,  and  murmur : 
"  Madam,  my  best  regards." 

28. 
Was  will  die  einsame  Thrane 

What  means  this  lonely  tear-drop, 

Misty  with  ancient  pains? 
The  tragic  days  have  vanished, 

But  still  this  tear  remains. 

Once  it  had  shining  sisters; 

But,  with  the  old  delights 
And  passing  griefs,  they  left  me, 

Lost  in  the  windy  nights. 

Lost,  like  the  mist,  those  blue  orbs; 

Stars  with  a  smiling  dart, 
That  shot  the  joys  and  sorrows 

Laughing  into  my  heart. 


io6  Book  of  Songs 

Even  my  love  has  perished, 
A  breath  that  I  have  drawn  . 

Oh  lone,  belated  tear-drop, 
'Tis  time  you  too  were  gone. 


29. 

Der  bleiche,  herbstliche  Halbmond 

The  pale,  autumnal  half -moon 
Breaks  through  the  cloudy  skies; 

Quietly,  by  the  churchyard 
The  lonely  parsonage  lies. 

The  mother  reads  in  her  Bible; 

The  son  just  stares  and  stares; 
The  elder  daughter  dozes ; 

The  younger  one  declares: 

"  Oh  Lord,  how  stupid  the  days  are, 

Endlessly  dull  and  drear ! 
Only  when  there's  a  funeral 

Is  there  anything  doing  here." 

"  You're  wrong,"  says  the  mother  still 
reading, 

"  They've  only  buried  four ; 
That  is,  since  they  laid  your  father 

There,  by  the  churchyard  door." 

"  Well,"  yawns  the  elder  daughter, 
"  I'll  starve  no  longer  with  you. 

I'll  go  to  the  Count  to-morrow;        >» 
He's  rich,  and  he  loves  me  too." 


The  Home-Coming  107 

The  son  then  bursts  out  laughing, 

"  At  the  '  Star  '  there  are  hunters  three; 

They're  making  gold  and  gladly 
They'll  teach  the  secret  to  me." 

The  mother  flings  her  Bible 

At  his  head,  half-crazed  with  grief, 

"  That's  what  you'll  be,  God  help  you, 
A  common  gutter  thief !  " 

Lo,  there's  a  tap  at  the  window  ; 

They  turn  to  a  beckoning  hand — 
There,  in  his  moldy  cassock, 

They  see  the  dead  father  stand. 


30- 
Das  ist  ein  schlechtes  Wetter 

Well,  this  is  awful  weather; 

Storming  with  rain  and  snow ! 
I  sit  at  the  window  staring 

Into  the  darkness  below. 

A  little  glimmering  brightness 
Goes  down  the  uncertain  street : 

A  lantern,  and  a  mother 

With  tired  and  stumbling  feet. 

I  think  it's  eggs  and  flour 
That  the  old  lady  has  bought 

To  bake  a  cake  for  her  daughter, 
The  lazy  good-for-naught. 


io8  Book  of  Songs 

Yawning  at  home  on  the  sofa 
She  lies  in  front  of  the  blaze — 

The  golden  hair  is  falling 
Around  her  golden  face. 


Man  glaubtj  dass  ich  mich  grame 

They  think  that  I  am  tortured 

Beneath  a  bitter  yoke ; 
And  I  have  come  to  believe  it 

As  well  as  other  folk. 

Oh  little,  great-eyed  maiden, 
I've  told  thee  time  and  again, 

That  beyond  words  I  love  thee, 

That  Love  gnaws  my  heart  in  twain. 

But  in  my  own  room  only 
I've  said  this  thing — for  see, 

When  I  am  in  thy  presence 
No  word  escapes  from  me. 

For  there  were  evil  angels 

That  sealed  my  lips  somehow; 

And  through  these  evil  angels 
I  am  so  wretched  now. 


The  Home-Coming  109 

32. 
Deine  weissen  Liljenfinger 

Oh,  your  slim,  white  lily-fingers, 
Only  once  more  might  I  kiss  them; 
And,  as  to  my  heart  I  press  them, 
Lose  myself  in  quiet  weeping. 

Your  clear,  violet-eyes  pursue  me ; 
Dance  before  me,  day  and  night. 
And  I  wonder  how  to  answer, 
How  to  solve  those  sweet,  blue  riddles. 

33- 
"Hat  sie  sich  denn  nie  geaussert " 

"  Has  she  never  even  shown  you 

That  your  hot  avowals  moved  her? 

Did  her  dark  eyes  tell  you  nothing, 

When  you  swore  how  much  you  loved  her? 

"  Could  you  never  find  an  entrance 

To  her  soul  through  sighs  and  glances  ?  .  .  . 

And  they  say  you're  not  a  donkey, 
But  a  Hero  of  Romances !  " 


no  Book  of  Songs 

34- 
Sie  liebten  sich  beide,  dock  keiner 

They  loved  one  another,  though  neither 
Would  speak  to  the  other  thereof ; 

They  looked  at  each  other  like  strangers 
The  while  they  were  dying  of  love. 

They  parted;  and  only  in  visions 
They  met,  and  the  dream  soon  fled. 

And  at  last  these  two  were  buried — 
They  scarcely  knew  they  were  dead. 

35- 
Und  als  ich  euch  meine  Schmerzen  geklagt 

When  I  told  of  my  sorrows  that  wounded  and  tore 
You  answered  with  yawns  and  nothing  more. 

But  now,  since  I've  added  a  lyrical  phrase 

And  put  them  in  verse,  you  are  lavish  with  praise 


The  Home-Coming  in 

36. 

Ich  rtef  den  Teufel  und  er  kam 

I  called  the  devil  and  he  came; 
And  then  I  saw,  with  a  wondering  gaze, 
He  was  not  hideous,  he  was  not  lame, 
But  a  genial  man  with  charming  ways. 
A  man  in  the  very  flush  of  his  prime ; 
Experienced,  suave  and  in  touch  with  his  time. 
As  a  diplomat,  his  talent  is  great, 
And  he  speaks  wisely  of  Church  and  the  State. 
True,  he  is  pale;  but  it's  little  wonder, 
For  Sanskrit  and  Hegel  he's  staggering  under. 
His  favorite  poet  is  still  Fouque; 
As  critic  he  finds  that  the  work  is  a  bother, 
So  Hecate  now,  his  beloved  grandmother, 
Has  taken  the  task  and  is  given  full  sway. 
My  legal  studies  called  forth  his  laudation; 
He  too,  in  his  youth,  found  them  quaint  recreation. 
He  said  that  my  friendship  could  never  be 
Too  dear  for  him ;  and  bowed  to  me. 
And  asked  had  we  not  met  some  place — 
Perhaps  the  ambassador's  ?  .   .   .  and  with  that  sen- 
tence 

I  looked  more  closely  at  his  face, 
And  recognized  an  old  acquaintance. 

37- 
Mensch,  verspotte  nicht  den  Teufel 

Mortal,  mock  not  at  the  devil, 
Life  is  short  and  soon  will  fail, 

And  the  '  fire  everlasting  ' 
Is  no  idle  fairy-tale. 


H2  Book  of  Songs 

Mortal,  pay  your  debts,  delay  not ; 

Years  are  long,  and  while  they  last 
You  will  borrow  in  the  future 

Just  as  oft  as  in  the  past. 


38. 

Mein  Kinds  wir  waren  Kinder 

My  child,  we  once  were  children, 
Two  children,  blithe  and  gay, 

We  used  to  crawl  up  to  the  hen-house 
And  hide  ourselves  under  the  hay. 

We  cackled  and  crowed  whenever 
People  passed  down  the  road — 

"  Kikerikee !  "  they  thought  it 

Was  really  the  cocks  that  crowed. 

The  boxes  in  our  courtyard 

We  draped  with  what  we  could  find, 

And  lived  in  them  together, 
A  home  of  the  cosiest  kind. 

Our  neighbor's  cat  came  often 

To  visit  us  in  our  bower; 
We  met  her  with  bows  and  curtsies 

And  compliments  by  the  hour. 

Politely  we  asked  how  her  health  was, 
In  the  course  of  a  friendly  chat. 

(We've  said  the  same  things  since  then 
To  many  a  grave,  old  cat.) 


The  Home-Coming  113 

And  often  like  old  folk  we  gossiped, 

Aping  their  serious  ways; 
Complaining  how  things  were  better 

In  *  the  dead  and  dear  old  days/ 

How  Love  and  Faith  and  Honor 

Were  lost  without  regret; 
How  coffee  was  so  expensive, 

And  money  so  hard  to  get!  .   .   . 

Gone  are  the  plays  of  childhood, 
And  all  things  seem  a  wraith — 

Time  and  the  world  and  money, 
And  Love  and  Honor  and  Faith. 


39- 
Das  Herz  1st  mir  bedruckt,  und  sehnlich 

My  heart  is  crushed  with  grief,  for  sadly 
I  think  of  old  times,  clean  of  strife, 

When  all  the  world  went  far  from  badly, 
And  people  lived  a  normal  life. 

But  now  the  world  seems  madly  driven  ; 

vScrambling  to  pull  and  push  ahead ! 
Dead  is  the  good  Lord  up  in  Heaven, 

And  down  below  the  devil's  dead. 

All  things,  with  this  eternal  shoving, 
Become  a  gray  and  sodden  brawl  ; 

And  if  it  were  not  for  a  little  loving 
There'd  be  no  rest  for  us  at  all. 


H4  Book  of  Songs 

40. 
Wie  der  Mond  slch  leuchtend  dranget 

As  the  moon  through  heavy  cloud-drifts 
Bursts  with  his  effulgent  rays, 

So  a  shining  memory  rises 

From  the  old  and  darkened  days. 

On  the  deck  we  sat,  and  drifted 
Down  the  Rhine  as  on  a  throne; 

And  the  banks,  bright  green  with  summer, 
In  the  radiant  twilight  shone. 

And  there  was  a  gracious  lady ; 

At  her  feet  I  sat  and  dreamed. 
On  that  pale,  dear  face  the  ruddy, 

Burnished  gold  of  sunset  gleamed. 

Lutes  were  ringing,  boys  were  singing; 

Happiness  on  every  side! 
And  the  vault  of  heaven  grew  bluer, 

And  the  very  soul  grew  wide. 

And  there  passed,  as  in  a  legend, 
Cliff  and  castle,  wood  and  field  ... 

And  I  saw  them  through  her  beauty; 
In  her  eyes  they  lay  revealed. 


The  Home-Coming  115 

41. 
Im  Traum  sah  ich  die  Geliebte 

I  saw  in  a  dream  the  Beloved, 

A  woman  careworn  and  gray ; 
That  radiant,  blossoming  body 

Withered  and  fallen  away. 

One  child  in  her  arms  she  carried, 

And  one  by  her  hand  was  led  ; 
And  struggle  and  sorrow  were  written 

In  her  look,  her  clothes,  her  tread. 

She  stumbled  toward  the  market, 

And  there  I  met  her,  and  she 
Saw  me,  and  I  began  speaking 

Calmly  and  mournfully  : 

"  Oh,  come  with  me  to  my  dwelling, 

For  thou  art  sick  and  pale ; 
And  meat  and  drink  I'll  work  for 

To  make  thee  whole  and  hale. 

"  And  I  will  tend  and  cherish 

Thy  children  undefiled; 
But  thee,  before  all  others, 

Thou  poor,  unfortunate  child. 

"  And  I  will  never  speak  of 

My  love  so  torn  and  deep. 
And  when  at  last  thou  diest, 

Upon  thy  grave  I'll  weep.'* 


n6  Book  of  Songs 

42, 
Teurer  Freund!    Was  soil  es  niitzen 

Why,  my  friend,  this  same  old  fretting, 
In  the  same,  monotonous  -fashion? 

Will  you  be  forever  setting 

On  the  addled  eggs  of  passion? 

"  Ah !    It's  no  small  task  to  tackle ! 

First  the  chicks  come,  thin  and  sickly; 
Then,  when  they  begin  to  cackle, 

In  a  book  you  clap  them,  quickly." 

43- 
Werdet  nur  nicht  ungeduldig 

Listen ;  do  not  grow  impatient, 

Though  I  keep  the  old  note  ringing, 

And  you  hear  the  old  heart-sickness, 
Even  in  my  latest  singing. 

Only  wait — these  dying  echoes 

Soon  will  cease ;  and  with  new  power, 

Lo,  a  new,  poetic  Springtime 

In  a  heart  that's  healed  will  flower. 


The  Home-Coming  117 

44. 
Nun  ist  es  Zeit,  dass  ich  mit  Verstand 

Now  it  is  time  that  I  should  start 

And  leave  all  folly  behind  me. 
As  comic  actor  I've  played  my  part 

In  a  comedy  that  was  assigned  me. 

The  settings  were  painted  brilliant  and  bold 

In  the  latest  romantic  fashions; 
My  knightly  mantle  was  splendid  with  gold ; 

I  thrilled  with  the  noblest  passions. 

And  now  at  last  I  must  say  good-by 
To  speeches  once  distracting  .   .   . 

But  I  am  wretched  and  I  sigh 
As  though  I  still  were  acting. 

Oh  God!  unknown  I  spoke  in  jest 

The  things  I  felt  most  deeply; 
I've  acted,  with  death  in  my  very  breast, 

The  dying  hero,  cheaply. 

45- 
Den  Koniff  Wiswamitra 

The  good  king  Wiswamitra 

Has  little  quiet  now ; 
He'll  fight,  he'll  fret,  he'll  famish 

To  get  Wasishta's  cow. 


n8  Book  of  Songs 

Oh,  good  king  Wiswamitra, 
Oh,  what  an  ox  art  thou ; 

Such  fastings,  such  great  torments — 
And  all  for  that  one  cow ! 


46. 

Herz,  mein  Herz,  sei  nicht  beklommen 

Heart,  my  heart,  let  naught  o'ercome  you ; 

Bear  your  destiny  and  pain. 

Spring  will  bring  you  back  again 
What  the  Winter's  taken  from  you. 

And  how  much  is  left!    The  small  things 
And  the  whole  of  earth  is  fair ! 
Heart,  you  never  need  despair — 

You  can  love,  not  one,  but  all  things! 


47- 
Du  hist  wie  eine  Blume 

Child,  you  are  like  a  flower, 
So  sweet  and  pure  and  fair ; 

I  look  at  you  and  sadness 
Comes  on  me,  like  a  prayer. 

I  must  lay  my  hands  on  your  forehead 

And  pray  God  to  be  sure 
To  keep  you  forever  and  always        ^ 

So  sweet  and  fair — and  pure. 


The  Home-Coming  119 

48. 

Kind!  es  ware  dein  Verderben 

Child,  I  know  'twould  be  your  ruin, 

And  my  thoughts  keep  guard  and  turn  there ; 

That  your  heart  may  not  be  kindled 
With  the  love  that  used  to  burn  there. 

But  my  too  successful  triumph 

Somehow  does  not  quite  delight  me. 

And  I  keep  on  thinking,  hoping 

You  might  love  me  yet — -despite  me. 

49- 
Wenn  ich  auf  dem  Lager  liege 

When  I  lie  down  for  comfort 

Upon  the  pillows  of  night, 
There  rises  and  floats  before  me 

A  phantom  clothed  in  light. 

As  soon  as  smiling  Slumber 
With  soft  hands  locks  my  eyes, 

Into  my  dream  the  vision 
Creeps  with  a  sweet  surprise. 

But  even  with  the  morning 
The  dream  persists  and  stays; 

The  sunlight  cannot  melt  it — 
I  carry  it  all  my  days. 


I2O  Book  of  Songs 

50. 
Afadchen  mit  dem  roten  Miindchen 

Girl  whose  mouth  is  red  and  laughing; 

Girl  whose  eyes  are  soft  and  bright, 
All  my  being  moves  about  you, 

Thinking  of  you  day  and  night. 

Long,  how  long,  this  winter  evening; 

And  I  yearn  the  whole  night  through 
To  be  sitting,  talking  lightly, 

In  the  little  room  with  you. 

To  my  lips  I  would  be  pressing, 
Love,  your  slender,  tender  hand; 

And  my  tears  would  tremble,  blessing 
That  beloved  and  blessed  hand. 


Mag  da  draussen  Schnee  sich  turmen 

Snows  and  storms  may  whirl  in  torrents ; 
And  I  watch,  without  abhorrence. 
Hail  at  all  my  windows  storming; 
For  they  never  seem  alarming 
While  my  heart  can  hold  this  grace : 
Spring, — and  one  dear,  Springrlike  face. 


The  Home-Coming  121 

52. 
Verrlet  mein  blasses  Angesicht 

Did  not  my  pallid  face  betray 

The  passion  that  I  bore  you? 
And  did  you  think  my  haughty  lips 

Would,  beggar-like,  implore  you  ? 

These  haughty  lips  were  only  made 

For  kisses,  jests  and  lying — 
They'd  form  a  mocking,  scornful  word 

Even  though  I  were  dying. 

53- 
"  Teurer  Freund,  du  bist  verliebt" 

"  Ah,  my  friend,  you  are  in  love 

And  new  torments  chain  you  tighter ; 

For  your  brain  is  growing  duller 
As  your  foolish  heart  grows  lighter. 

"  Yes,  my  friend,  you  are  in  love, 
Though  the  truth  is  unconf  essed  ; 

Why,  I  see  your  heart's  blood  glowing — 
Blushing,  even  through  your  vest !  " 


122  Book  of  Songs 


54- 
Ich  wollte  bei  dir  weilen 

I  sought  your  side,  the  only 

Peace  that  I  ever  knew; 
You  left  me,  worn  and  lonely — 

You  had  so  much  to  do. 

I  said  I  gave  you  wholly 

Body  and  soul;  and  how 
You  laughed,  laughed  long  and  drolly, 

And  made  a  twinkling  bow. 

With  all  these  things  you  tried  me ; 

You  even  dared  do  this : 
You  roused  and  then  denied  me 

A  single,  parting  kiss. 

Think  not  because  of  my  snarling 
I'll  shoot  myself  at  your  door!  .  .  . 

All  this,  my  precious  darling, 
Has  happened  to  me  before. 


55- 
Saphire  sind  die  Augen  dein 

Sapphires  are  those  eyes  of  yours, 
None  lovelier  or  braver; 

Thrice  happy  is  the  lucky  man 
On  whom  they  shine  with  favor. 


The  Home-Coming  123 

Your  heart  is  a  warm  diamond, 

A  light  that  never  dwindles. 
Thrice  happy  is  the  lucky  man 

For  whom  that  fire  kindles. 

Twin  rubies  are  those  lips  of  yours, 

A  rich  and  radiant  measure. 
Thrice  happy  is  the  lucky  man 

Who  can  possess  this  treasure. 

Oh,  could  I  know  that  lucky  man, 

And  find  that  happy  lover, 
Nicely  alone  in  some  deep  wood — 

His  luck  would  soon  be  over. 


56. 

Habe  mich  mit  Liebesreden 

I  have  lied  to  win  you,  precious; 

Now  my  breast  against  yours  burns, 
And  I  lie  in  my  own  meshes, 

And  the  jest  to  earnest  turns. 

And  if  ever  you  should  leave  me, 
With  a  jest,  as  is  your  right, 

Earnestly,  while  fiends  receive  me, 
I  will  shoot  myself  that  night. 


124  Book  of  Songs 

57- 

Zu  fragmentarisch  ist  Welt  und  Leben 

Life  in  this  world  is  a  muddled  existence — 

Our  German  professor  will  give  me  assistance. 

He  knows  how  to  whip  the  whole  thing  into  order; 

He'll  make  a  neat  System  and  keep  it  in  line. 

With  scraps  from  his  nightcap  and  dressing-gown's 

border 
He'd  fill  all  the  gaps  in  Creation's  design. 

58. 

Ich  hab'  mir  lang  den  Kopf  zerbrochen 

My  head  and  brain  are  almost  broken 

With  dreams  and  thinking,  night  and  day; 

But  now  your  eyes  have  solved  the  problem, 
They  sweep  my  hesitance  away. 

And  I  will  come  to  you  quite  boldly, 
And  meet  your  eyes'  sweet,  silent  call. 

And  once  again  I  am  a  lover  .   .   . 
Something  I  cannot  grasp  at  all. 

59- 

Sie  haben  heut  Abend  Gesellschaft 

They're  having  a  party  this  evening 
And  the  house  is  gay  with  light. 

Above,  at  a  brilliant  window,  >, 

A  shadow  trembles  in  sight. 


The  Home-Coming  125 

You  see  me  not;  in  darkness 

I  move  alone,  apart ; 
How  little  can  you  see,  then, 

Into  my  darkened  heart. 

My  darkened  heart  still  loves  you, 

Loves  you  and  tortures  me, 
And  breaks  and  lies  here  bleeding — 

But  you  can  never  see. 


60. 
Ich  wollt*  meine  Schmerzen  ergossen 

Oh,  that  I  could  capture  my  sadness 
And  pour  it  all  into  one  word ; 

The  glad-hearted  breezes  would  lift  it 
And  carry  it  off,  like  a  bird. 

They'd  bear  it  to  you,  oh  beloved, 
That  word  of  my  passionate  care ; 

And  every  hour  you'd  hear  it, 
'Twould  follow  you  everywhere. 

Yes,  when  you  have  scarce  closed  your 
eyelids, 

And  slumber  over  them  streams, 
That  word  will  arise  and  pursue  you — 

Even  into  your  dreams. 


126  Book  of  Songs 

61. 
Du  hast  Diamanten  und  Perlen 

You've  pearls  and  you've  diamonds,  my  dearest, 
You've  all  that  most  mortals  revere ; 

And  oh,  your  blue  eyes  are  the  fairest— 
What  else  could  you  ask  for,  my  dear  ? 

Upon  those  blue  eyes,  my  dearest, 

I've  written  for  many  a  year 
A  host  of  immortal  poems — 

What  else  could  you  ask  for,  my  dear  ? 

And  with  those  blue  eyes,  my  dearest, 
You  wrought  a  bright  torture  here, 

And  lightly  you  led  me  to  ruin — 

What  else  could  you  ask  for,  my  dear  ? 

62. 

Wer  zum  erstenmale  liebt 

He  who,  for  the  first  time,  loves, 
Even  vainly,  is  a  God. 
But  the  man  who  loves  again, 
And  still  vainly,  is  a  fool. 

Such  a  fool  am  I ;  the  second 
Time  I  love,  still  unrequited. 
Sun  and  moon  and  stars  are  laughirig ; 
And  I  laugh  with  them — and  perish. 


The  Home-Coming  127 

63. 

Zu  der  Lauheit  und  der  Flauheit 

In  your  tepid  soul  and  vapid, 

There's  no  strength  to  stand  the  shocks 
Of  my  wild  love,  with  its  rapid 

Force  that  breaks  a  path  through  rocks. 

You,  you  want  Love's  broad,  safe  high-roads, 
And  a  husband's  arm  through  life; 

Scorning  all  the  glades  and  by-roads,  — 
Just  a  prim  and  pregnant  wife. 

64. 

Oj  mem  gnadiges  Fraulein,  erlaubt 

Oh  loveliest  of  ladies,  may 

This  pale  son  of  the  Muses, 
Upon  thy  swan-like  bosom  lay 

His  head  with  Love's  own  bruises. 

"  Oh  sir  !    To  say  such  things  to  me 
Out  loud  —  in  front  of  company  !  " 


Gaben  mir  Rat  und  gute  Lehren 

Of  words  and  advice  they  were  the  donors; 
They  even  promised  me  lavish  honors. 
My  future  was  rosy,  my  fame  would  be  great  ; 
They'd  be  my  patrons  —  I  only  need  wait. 


128  Book  of  Songs 

But  still,   with  all  their  patronization, 
I  would  have  died  of  slow  starvation, 
Except  for  a  man  who  chanced  to  be  made 
Of  splendid  stuff  and  who  came  to  my  aid. 

Excellent  fellow !    I  look  on  and  let  him 
Work  for  my  dinner ;  I'll  never  forget  him ! 
Ah,  it's  a  pity  that  I  never  can 
Kiss  him — for  I  am  that  worthy  man. 


66. 
Diesen  UebenswurcTgen  J tingling 

This  most  amiable  youngster 
Can't  be  spoken  of  too  highly ; 

Oft  with  wine,  liqueurs  and  oysters 
He  regales  me,  almost  shyly. 

Charming  are  his  coat  and  trousers 
And  "iis  ties  are  most  appealing; 

And  he  comes  here  every  morning 
Just  to  ask  me  how  I'm  feeling. 

Of  my  wide  renown  he  gushes, 
Of  my  grace,  my  wit  and  humor ; 

And  he  swears  to  serve  and  help  me, 
Grieving  that  he  cannot  do  more. 

And  at  many  an  evening  party 
'Mid  the  ladies'  panegyrics, 

With  inspired  voice  and  features     > 
He  recites  my  deathless  lyrics. 


The  Home-Coming  129 

Oh,  to  find  so  rare  a  fellow 

Makes  me  see  the  whole  world  gaily ; 

In  these  sorry  times,  above  all, 
When  his  betters  vanish  daily. 

67. 

Mir  traumt:  ich  bin  dir  Hebe  Gott 

I  dreamt  I  was  the  dear  Lord  God 

And  sat  in  Heaven  gaily, 
The  angels  thronged  about  my  feet 

And  praised  my  verses  daily. 

And  cakes  I  ate  and  sweetmeats  too, 

My  costly  taste  displaying. 
I  washed  them  down  with  rare  old  wines, 

Without  a  thought  of  paying. 

But  the  inaction  bored  me  so, 

I  longed  once  more  to  revel ; 
I  thought,  were  I  not  God  Himself, 

I'd  rather  be  the  devil. 

"  Ho,  long-legged  Gabriel,"  I  called, 

"  Put  on  thy  boots,  I  prithee ; 
Seek  out  my  good  old  friend  Eugene 

And  fetch  him  quickly  with  thee. 

"  Seek  him  not  at  the  college  halls, 
Seek  him  where  wine  inspires; 

Seek  him  not  at  St.  Hedwig's  church — 
Seek  him  at  Ma'm'selle  Meyer's." 


130  Book  of  Songs 

The  angel  spread  his  plumes  and  flew 
Swift  as  a  winged  stallion, 

And  found  and  carried  up  to  me 
My  friend,  the  old  rapscallion. 

"  Yes,  lad,  I  am  the  Lord  Himself, 
I  rule  each  great  and  dumb  thing ; 

I  always  told  you  some  fine  day 
I  would  amount  to  something. 

"  And  I  work  wonders  every  hour, 
Things  that  would  quite  enthuse  you ; 

To-day,  for  instance,  I  will  change 
All  Berlin,  to  amuse  you. 

"  The  cobble-stones  in  every  street 
Shall  split ;  and  in  their  moister, 

New-opened  centers  shall  be  found, 
Juicy  and  fresh — an  oyster ! 

"  A  rain  of  gentle  lemon- juice 
Shall  fall  on  them,  bestowing 

A  grace ;  and  lo,  through  all  the  streets 
Rhine  wine  shall  keep  on  flowing. 

"  See  how  the  folk  of  Berlin  run ; 

Their  joy's  too  great  to  utter; 
The  heads  of  all  the  City  Courts 

Are  drinking  from  the  gutter. 

"  And  look  how  glad  the  poets  are, 
How  hungrily  they  rally! 

The  ensigns  and  lieutenants  too          >, 
Lap  up  each  street  and  alley. 


The  Home-Coming  131 

"  The  soldiers  tho'  are  cleverest, 

Their  shrewdness  they  display  there. 

They  know  that  miracles  like  this 
Don't  happen  every  day  there." 


68. 

Von  schonen  Lippen  fortgedrangt,  getrieben 

Torn  from  bright  lips  I  loved;  departing  sadly 

From  those  warm  eyes  that  held  me  in  their  heaven. 

I  would  have  stayed  another  day,  and  gladly, 
But  then  the  coach  came  up — and  I  was  driven. 

Child,  that  is  life!    A  constant  cry  and  wailing; 

A  constant  parting,  though  your  arms  enfold  me. 
Keep  me — but  see,  no  heart  can  be  unfailing; 

Even  your  eyes  were  powerless  to  hold  me. 


69. 

Wir  fuhren  allein  im  dunkeln 

Alone  in  the  dim  post-wagon 

We  sat  and  rode  through  the  night ; 

Closely  together  we  nestled, 

With  laughter  the  hours  were  light. 


132  Book  of  Songs 

But  oh,  my  love,  next  morning — 
And  how  we  stared  to  find, 

Sitting  between  us,  Cupid ; 
The  boy  that  seemed  so  blind ! 


70. 
Wie  dunkle  Traume  stehen 

Like  a  dark  dream  the  houses 

Stretch  in  a  ghastly  row; 
Wrapped  in  my  mantle  softly 

I  pass  them,  silent  and  slow. 

The  tower  of  the  cathedral 
Rings  with  the  midnight  hour; 

And  now  my  sweetheart  is  waiting 
With  all  of  her  charms  in  flower. 

The  moon's  my  friend  and  companion, 
He  lights  the  ways  that  are  dim; 

And  as  I  come  to  her  dwelling 
Gladly  I  call  to  him : 

1  The  original : 

Dock  als  es  Morgens  tagte, 

Mein  Kindy  wie  staunien  wir! 
Denn  zwischen  uns  sass  Amor, 

Der  blinde  Passagier. 

It  is  possible  that  in  "  der  blinde  Passagier"  Heine  was  half- 
punning  on  a  bit  of  German  slang.  A  "blind  passenger"  being 
one  who,  like  a  stowaway,  gets  in  anywhere  without  paying;  one 
who,  in  our  own  street  idiom,  "  beats  his  way." 


The  Home-Coming  133 

"  I  thank  you,  good  old  comrade, 
Through  you  no  path  was  furled  ; 

And  now,  since  I  must  leave  you, 
Go  light  the  rest  of  the  world. 

"  And  if  you  find  a  lover 

Heaving  a  lonely  sigh, 
Console  him  as  you  consoled  me, 

My  friend,  in  the  days  gone  by." 


Hast  du  die  Lippen  mir  wund  gekiisst 

With  kisses  my  lips  were  wounded  by  you, 

So  kiss  them  well  again; 
And  if  by  evening  you  are  not  through, 

You  need  not  hurry  then. 

For  you  have  still  the  whole,  long  night, 

Darling,  to  comfort  me! 
And  what  long  kisses  and  what  delight 

In  such  a  night  may  be. 


72. 
Und  bist  du  erst  mem  ehlich  Weib 

And  when  you're  once  my  wedded  wife 
You'll  be  an  envied  one,  dear  ; 

For  then  you'll  live  the  happiest  life 
With  nought  but  pleasure  and  fun,  dear. 


134  Book  of  Songs 

And  if  you  should  scold  I  will  not  curse, 
'Twill  be  a  matter  of  course,  dear; 

But  ah,  should  you  disdain  my  verse, 
I'll  get  me  a  divorce,  dear. 


73- 
Als  sie  mich  umschlang  mit  zartlichem  Presstn 

When  I  am  enwrapped  in  her  tender  embraces 

My  soul  seeks  the  skies  like  a  thing  that  is  driven! 

I  let  it  ascend;  and  meanwhile  no  place  is 

As  sweet  as  her  lips,  where  I  drink  draughts  of 
heaven. 


74- 
In  den  Kiissen,  welche  Luge 

Oh  what  lies  there  are  in  kisses! 

And  their  guile  so  well  prepared ! 
Sweet  the  snaring  is;  but  this  is 

Sweeter  still,  to  be  ensnared. 

Though  your  protests  overwhelm  me, 
Still  I  know  what  you'll  allow. 

Yet  I'll  swear  by  all  you  tell  me ; 
I'll  believe  all  you  avow. 


The  Home-Coming  135 

75- 
An  deine  schneeweisse  Schulttf 


Upon  your  snow-white 

My  weary  head's  at  rest, 
And  I  can  hear  the  longing 

That  stirs  within  your  breast. 

The  blue  Hussars  come  bugling, 
Come  riding  past  your  door ; 

And  to-morrow,  my  love,  you'll  leave  me 
And  I  shall  see  you  no  more. 

But  though  you  will  leave  me  to-morrow, 
To-day  you  are  wholly  mine ; 

To-day  you  shall  bless  me  doubly, 
Closer  your  arms  shall  twine. 


76. 

Es  blasen  die  blauen  Husaren 

The  blue  Hussars  go  bugling 
Out  of  the  town  and  away ; 

I  come  to  you  now,  my  sweetheart, 
Bringing  a  rose  bouquet. 

That  was  a  mad,  wild  uproar; 

Crowding  in  every  part ! 
But  there  was  a  place  for  many, 

Even  in  your  small  heart. 


136  Book  of  Songs 

77- 
Habe  auch  in  jungen  Jahren 

In  my  youth  when  Love  was  yearning, 
I  was  often  sad,  and  burning 

Like  a  cord  of  wood. 
Now  the  price  of  fuel's  higher, 
And  the  cost  has  quenched  the  fire, 

Ma  foil  and  that  is  good. 

Think  of  this,  my  pretty  darlings, 
Cease  your  silly  tears  and  quarrelings ; 

Stupid  griefs  and  harms. 
You  have  Life,  that  precious  bubble; 
So  forget  Love's  ancient  trouble, 

Ma  foil  within  my  arms. 


78. 

Bist  du  wirklich  mir  so  feindlich 

Have  you  really  grown  to  hate  me? 

Is  the  dreaded  change  completed  ? 
Then  the  world  shall  hear  my  grievance, 

Hear  how  badly  I've  been  treated. 

Oh,  ungrateful  lips,  how  could  ye 
Utter  such  a  shameful  story 

Of  the  man  whose  kisses  thrilled  ye    », 
In  those  days  of  perished  glory. 


The  Home-Coming  137 

79- 
Ach,  die  Augen  sind  es  wieder 

Ah,  those  eyes  again  which  always 
Made  my  welcome  seem  completer ; 

And  those  lips  again  which  always 
Made  my  harsh  life  somehow  sweeter. 

And  the  voice  is  just  as  always, 
When  its  lightest  whisper  gladdened. 

Only  /  am  not  as  always; 

I  am  home,  but  changed  and  saddened. 

Now  I  feel  white  arms  about  me 
Close  and  passionately  twining, — 

Yet  I  lie  upon  her  bosom 
Unresponsive  and  repining. 

80. 
Himmlisch  wars,  wenn  ich  bezwang 

Tis  a  heavenly  pleasure  indeed, 

Curbing  Passion's  wild  excess ; 
And  when  I  do  not  succeed 

Tis  a  pleasure  none  the  less. 


138  Book  of  Songs 

81. 
Selten  habt  ihr  mich  verstanden 

Hard  to  understand  your  gabble; 

And  my  thoughts  you  fail  to  reach. 
Only  when  in  filth  we  dabble 

Do  we  find  a  common  speech. 

82. 
Dock  die  Kastraten  klagten 

And  still  the  eunuchs  grumbled, 
Whene'er  my  voice  arose  ; 

They  grumbled  as  they  mumbled 
My  songs  were  far  too  gross. 

And  oh,  how  sweetly  thrilling 
Their  little  voices  were; 

Their  light  and  limpid  trilling 
Made  such  a  pretty  stir. 

They  sang  of  Love,  the  leaping 
Flood  that  engulfs  the  heart  .  . 

The  ladies  all  were  weeping 
At  such  a  feast  of  Art ! 


The  Home-Coming  139 


Auf  den  Wallen  Salamankas 

On  the  walls  of  Salamanca 

Where  the  very  winds  are  fonder, 

Slowly,  with  my  lovely  Donna, 
In  the  summer  dusk  we  wander. 

And  my  arm  is  bent  about  her 
Slender  body,  and  it  lingers 

As  I  feel  her  haughty  bosom 
Heave  beneath  my  happy  fingers. 

But  a  vague  and  threatening  whisper 
From  the  linden  makes  me  gloomy  ; 

And  the  millwheel's  evil  murmur 

Sends  a  dark  foreboding  through  me. 

"  Ah  Senora,  something  tells  me 
Nevermore  we  two  shall  wander 

On  the  walls  of  Salamanca, 

Where  the  very  winds  are  fonder." 


84. 

Kaum  sahen  wir  uns,  und  an  Augen  und  Stimmen 

As  soon  as  we  met  we  were  'wrapped  in  each  other, 
Your  eyes  and  your  voice  showed  you  would  not 
resist ; 

And  had  it  not  been  for  that  dragon,  your  mother, 
There,  in  that  instant,  I  think  we'd  have  kissed. 


140  Book  of  Songs 

To-morrow,  alas,  I  must  leave  the  quaint  city 
And  go  the  old  way,  as  if  bound  by  a  spell. 

And  you  will  look  down  from  your  window  in  pity; 
And  I — I  will  wave  back  a  friendly  farewell. 


85. 

Uber  die  Berge  steigt  schon  die  Sonne 

Over  the  mountains  the  sun  throws  his  fire; 

The  bells  of  the  lambs  in  the  distance  are  low. 
My  love  and  my  lamb,  my  own  sun  of  desire, 

Once  more  I  would  see  you  before  I  must  go. 

I  gaze  at  her  window,  impatient  and  muffled — 
"  My  child,  fare  thee  well ;  I  am  parting  from  thee !  " 

In  vain!    Nothing  moves,  not  a  curtain  is  ruffled; 
For  still  she  lies  sleeping  and  dreaming  .  .  .  of  me? 

86. 
Zu  Halle  auf  dem  Markt 

In  Halle's  market-place 
There  stand  two  mighty  lions. 
Observe  their  hollow  boldness ;  see 
How  quickly  men  have  tamed  them ! 

In  Halle's  market-place 

There  stands  a  mighty  giant. 

He  has  a  sword,  but  wields  it  not.        t| 

Some  fear  has  petrified  him. 


The  Home-Coming  141 

In  Halle's  market-place 
There  stands  a  great  cathedral, 
Where  city-folk  and  others  too 
Have  plenty  of  room  to  pray  in. 


87. 

Schone,  wirtschaftliche  Dame 

Lovely  and  efficient  lady, 

House  and  farm  are  well  endowed ; 
And  your  cellar's  well  appointed, 

And  your  fields  are  all  well  ploughed. 

In  your  clean  and  shining  garden 
Weeds  can  never  raise  their  heads  ; 

And  the  straw,  when  threshing's  over, 
Will  be  used  to  stuff  the  beds. 

But  your  heart  and  lips,  fair  lady, 
Fallow  lie,  as  hard  as  stone; 

And  the  bed  is  but  half  useful 
Where  you  lie  and  sleep — alone. 

88. 
Dammernd  liegt  der  Sommerabend 

Softly  now  the  summer  twilight 
Lies  upon  the  woods  and  meadows ; 
And  a  golden  moon  looks  downward 

With  a  comforting  and  shy  light. 


142  Book  of  Songs 

By  the  brook  and  in  its  islands 
Crickets  chirp;  the  water  murmurs. 
And  the  wanderer  hears  a  plashing 

And  a  breathing  in  the  silence. 

There,  alone,  unclad,  un  frightened, 
See,  a  water-nymph  is  bathing. 
How  those  white  limbs  in  the  water 

And  the  moon  are  doubly  whitened ! 


89. 

Nacht  liegt  auf  den  fremden  Wegen 

Night  lies  on  the  strange,  dark  roadways; 

Weary  limbs  and  heart  distress  me  .    .    . 
Ah,  sweet  moon,  through  you  my  load  weighs 

Lighter,  as  your  soft  beams  bless  me. 

Radiant  moon,  your  gentle  wonder 
Sends  Night's  ancient  terrors  reeling; 

All  my  fears  are  torn  asunder, 

And  the  happy  tears  come  healing. 

90. 
Der  Tod,  das  ist  die  kiihle  Nacht 

Death — it  is  but  the  long,  cool  night; 

And  Life  is  but  a  sultry  day. 

It  darkens,  and  I  slumber;  >, 

I  am  weary  of  the  light. 


The  Home-Coming  143 

Over  my  bed  a  strange  tree  gleams, 
And  there  a  nightingale  is  loud; 
She  sings  of  love,  love  only  .  .  . 

I  hear  it  in  my  dreams. 


"  Sag,  wo  ist  dein  schones  Liebchen  " 

"  Where  is  now  your  precious  darling, 
That  you  sang  about  so  sweetly, 

When  the  magic,  flaming  torrent 

Fired  and  filled  your  heart  completely  ?  " 

Ah,  that  fire  is  extinguished, 

And  my  heart  no  longer  flashes; 

And  this  book's  an  urn  containing 
All  my  love — and  all  its  ashes. 


DUSK  OF  THE   GODS 

Der  Mai  ist  da  mit  seinen  goldnen  Lichtern 

The  May  is  here  with  all  her  golden  glamor, 

And  silken  zephyrs  and  warm,  spicy  odors. 

She  lures  me,  laughing,  with  her  snowy  blossoms, 

And  greets  me  with  the  thousand  eyes  of  violets. 

She   spreads  a  wide  green  carpet  rich  with  flowers, 

Woven  throughout  with  sun  and  morning  dew; 

And  thus  she  calls  to  all  her  well-loved  mortals. 

The  pale-faced,  shut-in  people  hear  her  first ; 

The  men  put  on  their  fancy  trousers 

And  Sunday  coats  with  gold  and  glassy  buttons; 

The  women  all  wear  white — for  innocence ; 


144  Book  of  Songs 

Youths  start  to  train  and  twirl  the  vernal  mustache ; 
Young  girls  begin  a  heaving  of  the  bosom ; 
The  city  poets  stuff  into  their  pockets 
Pencil  and  pad  and  opera-glass !  and  gladly 
The  gaily-colored  crowds  make  for  the  gates, 
And  camp  outside  upon  the  verdant  hillsides, 
Amazed  to  see  the  trees  so  busily  growing; 
Playing  with  sweet  and  brightly-colored  flowers, 
Hearing  the  songs  of  birds,  clear-toned  and  joyful, 
And  shouting  exultations  up  to  heaven. 

May  called  upon  me  too.    She  knocked  three  times 

Upon  my  door  and  cried,  "  I  am  the  May ! 

Thou  pallid  dreamer,  come, — and  I  will  kiss  thee !  " 

I  held  my  door  closed  tight,  and  called  to  her : 

Your  lures  are  all  in  vain,  false  visitor. 

I  have  seen  through  you,  May ;  I  have  seen  through 

The  world's  vast  plan — and  I  have  looked  too  long, 

And  much  too  deep;  for  all  my  joy  has  vanished, 

And  deathless  troubles  rankle  in  my  heart. 

I  see  right  through  the  hard  and  stony  cover 

Of  all  men's  houses  and  of  all  men's  hearts, 

And  see  in  both  lies  and  deceit  and  torture. 

I  read  men's  thoughts  by  looking  at  their  faces, 

Most  of  them  evil.    In  the  blush  of  maidens 

I  see  the  trembling  wish  beneath  the  shame; 

Upon  Youth's  proud  and  visionary  head 

I  see  the  cap-and-bells  of  stupid  folly; 

And  twisted  phantom-pictures,  crazy  shadows 

Are  all  I  see, — until  I  scarcely  know 

If  earth's  a  madhouse  or  a  hospital. 


Dusk  of  the  Gods  145 

I  see  right  through  the  earth  to  its  foundations, 
As  though  'twere  crystal,  and  I  see  the  horrors 
That  May,  with  all  her  green  and  gladdening  cover, 
Hides  all  in  vain.    I  see  the  dead : 
They  lie  below  there  in  their  narrow  coffins, 
Their  still  hands  folded  and  their  blind  eyes  open; 
White  are  their  robes  and  whiter  still  their  faces. 
And  through  black  lips  the  yellow  worms  are  crawling. 
I  see  the  son  sitting  beside  his  mistress, 
Taking  their  pleasure  on  his  father's  grave ; 
The  nightingales  sing  mocking  songs  around  them ; 
The  gentle  meadow-flowers  grin  and  chuckle. 
Deep  in  his  grave  the  father  stirs  and  shivers— 
And  Mother  Earth  is  torn  with  painful  spasms. 


Oh  Earth,  poor  Earth,  I  know  your  pains  and  sorrows ; 

I  see  the  fire  raging  in  your  bosom, 

I  see  you  bleeding  from  a  thousand  veins, 

I  see  your  countless  wounds  torn  wide  and  gaping, 

Pouring  out  streams  of  flame  and  smoke  and  blood. 

I  see  those  stark,  defiant  sons  of  giants, 

Your  primal  brood,  climb  from  the  gloomy  chasms 

Swinging  red  torches  in  their  horny  hands. 

They  fix  their  iron  ladders  to  the  skies 

And  rush  to  storm  the  citadel  of  Heaven. 

Black  dwarfs  swarm  hotly  after  them ;  and,  crackling, 

The  golden  stars  crumble  to  dust  and  ashes. 

Dark,  impious  hands  tear  down  the  golden  curtain 

From  God's  own  shrine;  and  with  a  frightful  shrieking 

The  holy  angels  fall  upon  their  faces. 

Upon  his  throne  a  pale  and  frightened  God 

Plucks  off  his  diadem  and  tears  his  hair  .    .    . 

And  still  the  savage  horde  draws  nearer,  nearer. 


146  Book  of  Songs 

The  giants  hurl  their  rain  of  blazing  torches 
Into  the  vaults  of  heaven;  the  dwarfs  belabor 
The  backs  of  angels  with  their  flaming  scourges. 
In  pain  the  stricken  spirits  cringe  and  cower, 
And  by  the  hair  they  are  torn  down  and  vanquish* 

And  there,  I  see  my  own  dear  angel  stand 

With  her  blonde  locks,  her  sweet,  inspiring  features, 

And  with  eternal  love  about  her  lips, 

And  with  great  blessings  in  her  great,  blue  eyes — 

When  lo,  a  frightful,  black  and  evil  goblin 

Tears  from  the  ground  my  pale  and  trembling  angel 

Grinning,  he  gloats  upon  her  noble  beauty, 

And  clasps  her  close  with  tightening  embraces  .   . 

A  shriek  of  horror  cleaves  the  universe, 

Its  pillars  topple,  Earth  and  Heaven  crumple  . 

And  Night  resumes  its  black  and  ancient  rule. 


DONNA  CLARA 

In  dem  abendlichen  Garten 

In  the  evening-colored  garden 
Wanders  the  Alcalde's  daughter  ; 
Trumpets'  and  the  drums'  rejoicings 
Rise  and  echo  from  the  castle. 

"  Oh,  I  weary  of  the  dances, 
And  the  cloying,  fatuous  phrases 
Of  the  knights,  who,  bowing  deeply, 
To  the  sun  itself  compare  me. 


Donna  Clara 

"  Everything  seems  dull  and  tiresome 
Since  by  moonlight  I  beheld  him, 
Him,  my  hero,  whose  sweet  lute-strings 
Draw  me  nightly  to  my  window. 

"  How  he  stood ;  so  slim  and  fiery, 
And  his  eyes  were  burning  boldly 
From  his  pale  and  classic  features — 
Looking  like  St.  George,  the  valiant." 

Thus  mused  lovely  Donna  Clara, 
Gazing  at  the  ground  beneath  her; 
As  she  looked  up — lo,  the  handsome 
Unknown  knight  stood  there  before  her. 

Clasping  hands  with  trembling  passion, 
Now  they  wander  in  the  moonlight; 
Now  the  flattering  breeze  is  friendly; 
Great,  enchanted  roses  greet  them. 

Great,  enchanted  roses  greet  them, 
Redder  than  love's  flaming  heralds  .    .    . 
"  Ah,  but  tell  me,  my  beloved, 
Why  these  deep  and  sudden  blushes." 

"  Gnats  were  stinging  me,  my  dearest, 
And  I  hate  these  gnats  in  summer ; " 
Hate  them,  love,  as  though  they  might  be 
Nasty  Jews  with  long,  hooked  noses." 

"  Jews  and  gnats — let  us  forget  them," 
Says  the  knight,  with  soft  persuasion  .  . 
From  the  almond  tree  a  thousand 
Flower-flakes  of  white  are  falling. 


147 


148  Book  of  Songs 

Flower-flakes  of  white  are  falling, 

And  their  perfume  spills  about  them — 

"  Ah,  but  tell  me,  my  beloved, 

Is  your  heart  mine,  and  mine  only?  " 

"  Yes,  I  love  but  you,  my  dearest, 
And  I  swear  it  by  the  Saviour 
Whom  the  Jews,  God's  curse  upon  them, 
Did  betray  and  foully  murder.'* 

"  Jews  and  Saviour — let's  forget  them," 
Says  the  knight,  with  soft  persuasion  .   . 
Far-off  in  the  dreamy  distance 
Lilies  gleam  with  light  surrounded. 

Lilies  gleam,  with  light  surrounded, 
Gazing  at  the  stars  above  them. — 
"  Ah,  but  tell  me,  my  beloved, 
Have  you  not  perhaps  sworn  falsely  ?  " 

"  Nothing's  false  in  me,  my  dearest  ; 
Just  as  in  my  breast  there  courses 
Not  a  drop  of  blood  that's  Moorish, 
Nor  a  taint  of  Jewish  foulness." 

"  Jews  and  Moors — let  us  forget  them," 
Says  the  knight,  with  soft  persuasion, 
And,  into  a  grove  of  myrtle, 
Guides  the  fair  Alcalde's  daughter. 

With  Love's  soft  and  supple  meshes 
He  has  secretly  entrapped  her. 
Short  their  words,  but  long  their  kisses; 
And  their  hearts  are  running  over. 


Donna  Clara  149 

Like  a  melting,  poignant  bride-song, 
Sings  the  nightingale,  uplifted; 
Like  a  thousand  torchlight  dancers 
Leap  the  fireflies  from  the  bushes. 

In  the  grove  the  stillness  deepens. 
Nought  is  heard  except  the  murmurs 
Of  the  wise  and  nodding  myrtle 
And  the  breathing  of  the  flowers. 

But  the  shock  of  drums  and  trumpets 
Breaks  out  wildly  from  the  castle, 
And  it  wakes  the  lovely  Clara 
From  the  arms  of  her  beloved. 

"  Hark !  they  call  to  me,  my  dearest ; 
But  before  we  part,  pray  tell  me 
What,  my  love,  your  own  dear  name  is 
That  you've  hidden  so  long  from  me." 

And  the  knight,  with  gentle  laughter, 
Presses  kisses  on  her  fingers, 
On  her  lips  and  on  her  forehead; 
And  at  last  he  turns  and  answers: 

"  I,  Senora,  your  beloved, 
Am  the  son  of  the  respected,     . 
Erudite  and  noble  Rabbi 
Israel  of  Saragossa." 


150  Book  of  Songs 

THE    PILGRIMAGE  TO   KEVLAAR 

i. 
Am  Fenster  stand  die  Mutter 

The  mother  stands  by  the  window, 
The  son  on  the  bed  doth  lie. 

"  Will  you  not  rise  up,  William, 
And  see  the  throngs  go  by?  " 

"  I  am  so  sick,  my  mother, 

I  cannot  hear  or  see; 
The  thought  of  my  dead  Gretchen 

Is  all  that  lives  in  me." 

"  Rise  up,  and  then  to  Kevlaar 
With  book  and  cross  we'll  go ; 

God's  Mother,  She  will  heal  you 
And  rid  your  heart  of  woe." 

The  churchly  banners  flutter, 
Louder  the  chanting  grows; 

From  Coin,  beside  Rhine  River, 
The  long  procession  goes. 

The  mother  joins  the  pilgrims, 
She  leads  her  son  in  the  line, 

And  they  too  swell  the  chorus : 

"  Queen  Mary,  praise  be  Thine !  " 


The  Pilgrimage  to  Kevlaar  151 


2. 
Die  Mutter-Gottes  zu  Kevlaar 

The  Mother  of  God  in  Kevlaar 
Puts  on  her  finest  cloak — 

To-day  they  will  keep  her  busy, 
The  crowds  of  wretched  folk. 

For  all  the  sick  in  Kevlaar 
Bring  her,  as  offerings  meet, 

Limbs  made  of  cunning  waxwork, 
Wax  arms  and  waxen  feet. 

And  whoso  brings  a  wax  arm 
His  arm  is  healed  of  its  wound, 

And  whoso  brings  a  wax  foot 
His  foot  grows  strong  and  sound. 

Oh  many  have  come  to  Kevlaar 
On  crutches  who  danced  away; 

And  many  whose  fingers  were  palsied 
Can  take  up  the  fiddle  and  play. 

The  mother  took  up  a  wax  light 
And  moulded  therefrom  a  heart; 

"  Take  this  to  Mother  Mary 
And  She  will  ease  the  smart." 

And  sighing  he  took  the  wax  heart, 
And  sighing  he  knelt  and  prayed ; 

The  tears  in  his  eyes  were  trembling, 
And  tremblingly  he  said : 


152  Book  of  Songs 

"  Oh  Holiest  of  the  Holy, 

Virgin,  divinely  fair, 
Empress  of  all  the  Heavens 

To  Thee  I  bring  my  care. 

"  At  Coin  with  my  aging  mother 

I  live  within  the  town, 
The  city  of  a  hundred  churches 

And  chapels  of  renown. 

"  And  near  us  lived  my  Gretchen 
Who  now  lies  underground — 

Mary,  I  bring  Thee  a  wax  heart, 
Heal  Thou  my  heart's  great  wound. 

"  Cure  Thou  my  long  heart-sickness, 
And  daily,  rain  or  shine, 

Fervently  I  will  worship. 

Queen  Mary,  praise  be  Thine !  " 


Der  kranke  Sohn  und  die  Mutter 

The  heartsick  son  and  the  mother 
Were  sleeping  in  the  gloom, 

And  the  Mother  of  God  came  softly 
And  entered  the  little  room. 

She  bent  down  over  the  lover 
And  one  white  hand  was  drawn 

Over  his  heart  so  gently  .    .    . 
And,  smiling,  She  was  gone. 


The  Pilgrimage  to  Kevlaar  153 

In  a  dream  the  mother  saw  this, 
And  would  have  seen  still  more 

But  the  dogs'  loud  baying  awoke  her ; 
She  stumbled  to  the  floor. 

And  there,  stretched  out  and  quiet, 

He  lay — and  he  was  dead. 
And  on  his  cheeks  the  daybreak 

Shone  with  a  sudden  red. 

She  folded  her  hands  and  sat  there, 

She  did  not  rail  or  whine; 
She  murmured  over  and  over, 

"  Queen  Mary,  praise  be  Thine !  " 


FROM   "THE   HARZ  JOURNEY" 
(1824) 


PROLOG 

Schwarze  Rocke,  seidne  S trump fe 

Black  dress-coats  and  silken  stockings, 
Cuffs  of  snowy  white — beshrew  them ! 

Soft  embraces,  oily  speeches. 

Ah,  if  but  a  heart  beat  through  them! 

If  a  storm  could  stir  your  shirt-fronts, 
Ruffle  them  in  any  fashion! — 

Oh,  you  kill  me  with  your  maudlin 
Bursts  of  imitation  passion. 

I  will  go  and  climb  the  mountains 
Where  the  simple  huts  are  standing, 

Where  the  winds  blow  fresh  and  freely, 
And  a  chest  may  try  expanding. 

I  will  go  and  climb  the  mountains 
Where  the  mighty  pine-trees  tower, 

Where  the  birds  and  brooks  are  singing, 
And  the  heavens  grow  in  power. 

Fare  ye  well,  ye  polished  Salons, 

Polished  folk  and  polished  chaffing — 

I  will  climb  the  rugged  mountains 
And  look  down  upon  you,  laughing. 


157 


158  Book  of  Songs 


A  MOUNTAIN   IDYL 

i. 
Auf  dem  Berge  steht  die  Hiitte 


On  the  mountain  stands  a  cabin 
Wherein  lives  a  mountaineer  ; 

All  the  evergreens  are  rustling 
And  the  moon  turns  golden  here. 

In  the  cabin  there's  an  armchair 
Curiously  carved  and  high. 

He  who  sits  in  it  is  lucky; 
And  that  lucky  man  am  I. 

On  the  footstool  there's  a  maiden, 
In  my  lap  her  arms  repose; 

Eyes  like  two  blue  stars  that  sparkle, 
And  her  mouth's  a  crimson  rose. 

And  those  dear  blue  eyes  grow  larger 
While  the  wonder  in  them  grows; 

And  she  lays  a  lily  finger 
Shyly  on  the  crimson  rose. 

No,  the  mother  does  not  see  us, 
For  she  spins  and  spins  away; 

And  the  father  plays  the  zither,       », 
Singing  some  forgotten  lay. 


From  "The  Harz  Journey"  159 

And  the  maiden  whispers  softly, 

Softly,  almost  breathlessly; 
While  a  host  of  weighty  secrets 

Gravely  she  confides  to  me. 

"  But  since  Auntie  died,"  she  tells  me, 

"  We  can  never  hope  to  go 
To  the  picnic-grounds  at  Goslar ; 

That's  the  loveliest  place  I  know. 

"  On  the  mountains  here,  it's  lonely ; 

Colder  far  than  down  below  ; 
And  in  Winter  we  are  almost 

Lost  and  buried  in  the  snow. 

"  Though  I'm  quite  a  girl,  I  tremble 
Like  a  child  that's  seized  with  fright, 

At  the  evil  mountain  spirits 

And  the  things  they  do  by  night." 

Suddenly  she  stops,  as  though  her 
Own  words  chill  and  terrorize; 

And  she  raises  both  hands  quickly, 
Quickly  covering  her  eyes. 

In  the  trees  the  rustling's  louder, 
Faster  still  the  wheel  is  stirred, 

And  above  the  tinkling  zither 
Something  of  the  song  is  heard : 

"  Do  not  fear,  my  child,  my  darling, 

Fear  no  spirit's  evil  might! 
Overhead,  my  child,  my  darling, 

Angels  guard  thee  day  and  night! " 


160  Book  of  Songs 

2. 
/   Tannenbaum,  mit  griinen  Fingern 

Now  the  fir-tree's  long,  green  fingers 
Tap  against  the  window-pane, 

And  the  moon,  that  quiet  listener, 
Sheds  a  flood  of  golden  rain. 

Father,  mother,  sleeping  soundly, 
Snore  for  hours  without  a  break ; 

But  we  two,  with  lively  chatter, 
Keep  each  other  wide  awake. 

"  That  you  spend  much  time  in  praying 
I've  my  doubts;  for  always  there 

Is  a  sneer  about  your  features 
That  was  never  caused  by  prayer. 

"  Oh  that  sneer,  so  cold  and  evil, 
Frightens  me  and  terrifies — 

But  my  terror  seems  to  vanish 
When  I  see  your  gentle  eyes. 

"  And  I  doubt  that  you  believe  in 
The  inspired  Faith  of  most. 

Don't  you  worship  God  the  Father, 
And  the  Son  and  Holy  Ghost?  "  .  .  . 

"  Ah,  my  child,  while  still  an  infant, 
While  at  mother's  knee  I  stood, 

I  believed  in  God  the  Father, 
He  whose  rule  is  great  and  good. 


From  "The  Harz  Journey"  161 

"  He  who  made  the  earth  we  dwell  on, 

And  the  people  here  below; 
He  who  made  sun,  moon  and  planets, 

Teaching  them  the  way  to  go. 

"  Then,  my  child,  as  I  grew  older, 

My  belief  had  but  begun, 
And  I  mastered  many  new  things, 

And  I  worshiped  God — and  Son; 

"The  Beloved  Son,  who,  loving, 
Gave  us  love  to  bless  and  guide ; 

And  for  his  reward,  as  usual, 
He  was  scorned  and  crucified. 

"  Now  that  I've  matured  and  learned  much, 
Read  and  roamed  from  coast  to  coast, 

Now  my  heart,  with  deep  conviction, 
Bows  before  the  Holy  Ghost. 

"  He  has  worked  the  greatest  wonders, 
And  he  works  them  still ;  he  broke, 

Once  for  all,  the  tyrant's  power, 
And  he  burst  the  bondman's  yoke. 

"  All  the  ancient  scars  have  vanished, 

Justice  takes  its  rightful  place ; 
Now  all  men  are  free  and  equal 

In  a  pure  and  noble  race. 

"  Mists  and  every  evil  fancy 

That  had  filled  each  night  and  day, 

Cares  that  crowded  out  our  gladness — 
These  have  all  been  swept  away! 


1 62  Book  of  Songs 

"  And  a  thousand  armored  champions 

He  has  sanctified  and  sent 
To  fulfill  his  sacred  mission, 

Fired  with  their  high  intent. 

"  Lo,  their  splendid  swords  are  shining 
And  their  tossing  flags  are  bright ! — • 

What,  my  child,  you  long  to  look  on 
Such  a  proud  and  holy  knight? 

"  Well,  my  child,  come  here  and  kiss  me ; 

Look  at  me  and  you  can  boast 
You  have  known  just  such  a  doughty 

Champion  of  the  Holy  Ghost." 


J  3' 

Still  versteckt  der  Mond  sich  draussen 

Still  the  bashful  moon  is  hiding 
Close  behind  the  evergreen; 

And  the  lamp  upon  the  table 
Flickers  and  is  scarcely  seen. 

But  those  two  blue  stars  are  shining 
O'er  the  heaven  of  her  cheeks; 

And  the  crimson  rose  is  glowing, 
And  the  lovely  child  still  speaks. 

"  Tiny  goblins,  imp-like  faeries 
Clean  our  little  cupboard  bare ; 

It  is  full  of  food  at  evening  \ 

And  at  daylight — nothing's  there! 


From  "  The  Harz  Journey  " 

"  And  the  thieving  Little  People 
Skim  our  cream,  our  very  best ; 

Then  they  leave  the  pans  uncovered 
And  the  cat  licks  up  the  rest. 

"  And  that  cat's  a  witch,  I  know  it ; 

For  she  slinks  off  every  night 
To  the  old  and  ruined  castle 

On  the  haunted  mountain-height. 

"  Once  a  mighty  castle  stood  there 
Full  of  armor  and  romance; 

Shining  knights  and  lovely  ladies 
Laughed  in  many  a  torchlight  dance. 

"  Then  an  old  enchantress  cursed  it, 
Cursed  each  stone  and  winding  stair. 

Now  there's  nothing  left  but  ruins; 
And  the  owls  have  nested  there. 

"  But  my  dear  old  aunt  once  told  me 
If  one  speaks  the  Word  of  Might 

At  the  proper,  magic  moment, 
And  the  hour  and  place  be  right, 

"  Then  the  castle  shall  be  lifted 
From  the  ruined  stones — and  then 

All  the  vanished  knights  and  ladies 
Will  arise  and  dance  again. 

"  And  who  speaks  that  word  of  magic, 
Knights  and  ladies,  wall  and  tower, 

All  are  his ;  while  drums  and  trumpets 
Hail  his  new  and  happy  power."  .  . 


163 


164  Book  of  Songs 

Thus  the  faery  legends  blossom 

From  her  mouth,  that  rose-in-bloom, 

While  her  eyes  are  pouring  starlight 
In  the  still  and  darkened  room. 

Round  my  hands  she  winds  her  golden 
Tresses,  binding  me  at  will ; 

Gives  my  fingers  pretty  nicknames ; 
Kisses,  laughs — and  then  grows  still. 

And  the  hushed  room  edges  closer, 
Watching  with  a  friendly  light  .  .  . 

Table,  chest — it  seems  I  must  have 
Seen  them  all  before  to-night. 

J  Amiably  the  old  clock  gossips, 

And  the  zither,  scarcely  heard, 
Plays  itself  with  airy  fingers; 

And,  as  in  a  dream,  I'm  stirred  .  .  . 

This  must  be  the  proper  hour; 

Yes,  the  time  and  place  are  right. 
And  I  think  I  feel  it  gliding 

From  my  lips — that  Word  of  Might! 

Do  you  see,  my  child,  how  quickly 
Midnight  trembles  now  and  breaks ! 

Brooks  and  pine-trees  murmur  louder, 
And  the  ancient  mountain  wakes. 

Clang  of  zither,  elfin  voices 

Rise  from  glens  and  faery  bowers; 

And  a  wild,  fantastic  Springtime      »» 
Brings  a  forest  full  of  flowers. 


From  "The  Harz  Journey"  165 

Flowers,  trembling  and  audacious, 
Flowers,  strangely  broad  and  tall, 

Fling  their  eager  scents  and  colors 
As  though  passion  swayed  them  all. 

Roses,  red  as  flame,  and  burning 
From  the  brilliant  tumult,  rise; 

Lilies,  like  great  crystal  columns, 
Tower  straight  into  the  skies. 

And  the  stars,  with  fiery  longing, 
Great  as  suns,  look  down  and  blaze, 

Till  the  lilies'  hearts  are  flooded 
With  those  eager,  showering  rays. 

But  ourselves,  my  child,  are  altered 
More  than  all  of  these — and  see! 

Gleaming  torches,  silks  and  jewels 
Shimmer  'round  us  radiantly. 

You,  you  have  become  a  princess, 

And  this  hut's  a  castle  tall; 
Knights  and  ladies  dance  rejoicing; 

And  there's  magic  over  all. 

Ah,  but  7  have  won  the  castle, 

Knights  and  ladies,  wall  and  tower; 

Even  you — and  drums  and  trumpets 
Hail  my  new  and  happy  power ! 


1 66  Book  of  Songs 

THE   HERD-BOY 
Konig  ist  der  Hirtenknabe 

He's  a  king,  this  happy  herd-boy, 
And  his  throne's  the  grassy  down; 

And  the  sun  above  his  forehead 
Is  his  great  and  golden  crown. 

At  his  feet  the  sheep  are  lying, 
Flattering  courtiers,  soft  and  sly; 

And  his  cavaliers  are  cattle, 
Stamping  arrogantly  by. 

And  the  kids  are  his  court-players; 
Flutes  of  birds  that  hold  carouse 
ake  a  splendid  chamber-music 
With  the  gentle  bells  of  cOws. 

And  they  ring  and  sing  so  sweetly, 
And  the  soothing  murmurs  creep 

From  the  waterfall  and  forest, 
That  the  young  king  falls  asleep. 

Like  a  minister,  his  watch-dog, 
Governs  with  an  open  ear — 

And  his  loud,  suspicious  barking 
Makes  the  very  echoes  fear. 

Sleepily  the  young  king  mutters : 
"  Ah,  to  rule  is  hard  and  mean ; 

How  I  wish  that  I  were  home  now    » 
With  my  cozy  little  queen ! 


From  "The  Harz  Journey"  167 

"  On  her  dear  and  queenly  bosom 

Soft  my  regal  head  would  lie; 
And  I'd  find  my  ancient  kingdom 

Shining  in  each  love-lit  eye." 


ON  THE   BROCKEN 

Heller  wlrd  es  schon  im  Osten 

Comes  a  spark,  the  sun's  first  glimmer ; 

And  the  eastern  sky's  in  motion. 
Far  and  faint  the  mountain  summits 

Float  upon  a  misty  ocean. 

Had  I  seven-league  boots,  I'd  hasten 
With  the  wind,  as  fast  as  telling ; 

Running  on  the  tops  of  mountains 
Till  I  reach  my  dear  one's  dwelling. 

I  would  draw  the  curtains  softly 
From  her  bed,  where  she  lies  dreaming ; 

Softly  I  would  kiss  her  forehead 
And  her  lips  twin  rubies  gleaming. 

And  still  softer  I  would  whisper 
In  her  frail  and  lily  ear,  "  Love, 

Dream  we've  never  lost  each  other; 
Dream  we're  lovers  still,  my  dear  love." 


1 68  Book  of  Songs 

THE   ILSE* 
Ich  bin  die  Prinzessin  Use 

I  am  the  Princess  Use 

And  I  dwell  at  Ilsenstein. 
Come  with  me  to  my  castle, 

Thou  shalt  be  blest — and  mine. 

There  I  shall  bathe  thy  forehead 

With  waters  clear  and  glad, 
Until  thy  pain  shall  vanish, 

Thou  sick  and  sorrowing  lad. 

With  my  white  arms  about  thee 

Upon  my  breast  thou'lt  be ; 
And  thou  shalt  lie  there  dreaming 

Of  faery  legendry. 

*  Here  Heine  has  personified  the  famous  stream  and  given  to 
it  one  of  those  loreleys  that  fill  German  tradition  and  verse.  As 
an  introduction  to  this  poem  he  has  written,  in  one  of  the  most 
beautiful  passages  of  "Die  Harzreise,"  an  exquisite  description 
of  the  river  itself,  part  of  which  runs : 

"  It  is  indescribable,  the  merriment,  the  grace  and  the  na'ivete 
with  which  the  Use  leaps  down  upon  and  glides  over  the  fan- 
tastically piled  rocks  that  she  finds  in  her  path  .  .  .  like  a 
sprightly  girl.  Yes,  the  saying  is  true,  the  Ilse  is  a  Princess, 
who,  laughing  and  blossoming,  runs  down  the  mountains.  How 
her  white  garment  of  foam  glitters  in  the  sunlight !  How  the 
silver  band  about  her  bosom  flutters  in  the  wind !  How  the 
diamonds  sparkle  and  flash !  The  high  beech-tree  stands  near 
her,  like  a  grave  father,  secretly  smiling  at  his  forward  and 
favorite  child ;  the  white  birches  move  about  like  delighted 
aunts,  who  are  nevertheless  a  bit  anxious  over  such  daring 
leaps ;  and  the  proud  oak  looks  on  like  a  troubled  uncle,  who 
might  have  to  pay  for  this  lovely  weather.  .  .  .  The  flowers  on 
the  bank  murmur  softly  '  O,  take  us  along,  take  us  along,  dear 
sister.'  But  the  wild  girl,  not  to  be  held  by  anything,  runs 
on  ...  and  suddenly  she  seizes  the  dreaming  poet;  and  over 
me  there  streams  a  flower-like  rain  of  resounding  gleams  and 
gleaming  sounds,  and  all  my  senses  lose  themselves  in  a^rush  of 
Beauty — and  I  hear  only  a  sweet  and  fluty  voice  singing:  'I 
am  the  Princess  Use,'"  etc. 


From  "  The  Harz  Journey  " 

And  I  shall  kiss  and  hold  thee 

As  I  would  kiss  and  hold 
My  lover,  dear  King  Heinrich, 

Who  now  lies  dead  and  cold. 

The  dead  stay  dead  forever, 

Only  the  living  live ; 
My  laughing  heart  is  leaping, 

I've  youth  and  joy  to  give. 

Then  come  down  to  my  castle, 
Come  to  my  crystal  halls; 

The  knights  and  maidens  are  dancing, 
Happy  are  all  my  thralls. 

There's  rustling  of  silk  and  clatter 
Of  spurs,  and  the  bright  air  hums. 

The  nimble  dwarfs  are  playing 
On  fiddles  and  horns  and  drums. 

But  always  my  arms  shall  enfold  thee 
And  I  shall  keep  thee  enthralled; 

As  I  stopped  the  ears  of  King  Heinrich 
When  the  brazen  trumpets  called. 


169 


THE   NORTH   SEA 
(1825-1826) 


FIRST   CYCLE 
CORONATION 

Ihr  Lieder!    Ihr  meine  guten  Lieder! 

Ye  songs !    Ye  valiant  songs  of  mine 

Up,  up,  and  arm  yourselves ! 

Let  all  the  trumpets  echo, 

And  lift  this  blossoming  girl 

Upon  my  shield. 

For  now  my  restless  heart 

Longs  for  her  rule,  claims  her  its  queen. 

Hail  to  thee,  hail — oh  youthful  Queen! 

From  the  fierce  sun  at  noon 

I'll  tear  the  red  and  gleaming  gold, 

And  it  shall  be  a  diadem 

For  thy  beloved  head. 

From  the  great,  waving,  blue  silk  tent  of 

heaven, 
Where  all  the  diamonds  of  the  night  are 

flashing, 

I'll  cut  a  mighty  piece; 
And  hang  it,  like  a  royal  mantle, 
About  thy  royal  shoulders. 
I'll  give  thee  a  kingly  dower 
Of  starched  and  polished  sonnets, 
Haughty  tercets,  proud  and  courtly  stanzas. 
For  Pages  I  shall  give  thee  my  wit; 
173 


174  Book  of  Songs 

For  Court-fool,  my  wild  imagination; 
For  Herald,  with  laughing  tears  in  his 

escutcheon, 

My  Humors  shall  serve  thee  .   .   . 
But  I  myself,  dear  Queen, 
I  humbly  kneel  before  thee, 
And  present  to  thee,  from  the  velvet  cushion, 
With  deepest  homage, 
The  little  reason 

That  mercifully  has  been  left  me 
By  thy  predecessor  in  the  realm. 


TWILIGHT 

Am  blassen  Meeresstrande 

On  the  pale  strip  of  seashore 

I  sat  alone,  lost  among  fugitive  thoughts. 

The  sun  was  sinking  lower  and  threw 

Glowing,  red  beams  upon  the  water. 

And  the  white,  widening  line  of  waves, 

Pulled  by  the  urging  tide, 

Rolled  in  and  rumbled  nearer  and  nearer — 

A  curious  mingling  of  wailing  and  whistling, 

Of  laughing  and  murmuring,  sighing  and 

shouting ; 
And,  under  it  all,  the  strange  croon  of  the 

ocean. 

It  was  as  though  I  heard  forgotten  stories, 
Ancient  and  lovely  legends, 
That  once  I  had  heard  as  a  child 
From  our  neighbor's  children, 
When  we,  in  the  summer  evening, 


The  North  Sea  175 

On  the  stone-steps  before  the  door, 

Huddled  together  and  listened 

With  eager  hearts, 

And  sharp,  inquisitive  eyes  .   .   . 

While  the  growing  girls 

Sat  at  the  opposite  windows ; 

Their  heads  showing  above  the  fragrant 

flower-pots, 
Faces  like  roses; 
Laughing  and  moon-illumined. 

NIGHT   ON   THE   STRAND 

Sternlos  und  kalt  ist  die  Nacht 

The  night  is  starless  and  cold, 
The  ocean  yawns. 

And,  flat  on  his  belly,  the  monstrous  North-wind 
Sprawls  upon  the  sea. 
Wheezing  and  groaning, 
He  babbles  his  hoarse  confidences, 
Like  a  crotchety  grumbler  who  has  grown  good- 
humored  ; 

Babbles  to  the  listening  waters. 
Wild  tales  he  tells  them, 
Tales  of  giants,  tales  of  furious  slaughter, 
And  old-world  stories  out  of  Norway. 
And,  between  times,  he  laughs  and  bellows  out 
Incantations  from  the  Eddas, 
And  oaths  and  runes 
So  potent  and  so  darkly  magical 
That  the  white  sea-children 
Leap  up  turbulently, 
In  waves  of  exultation. 


1 76  Book  of  Songs 

Meanwhile,  on  the  flat  shore, 

Over  the  surf-dampened  sands, 

A  stranger  walks 

With   a  heart  that  is  wilder  than  winds   or 

waters. 

Wherever  he  tramps 

Sparks  fly  and  sea-shells  crunch  and  crumble. 
He  wraps  himself  in  his  gray,  gloomy  mantle 
And  strides  on  quickly  through  the  windy 

night — 

Led  safely  by  the  little  taper 
That  beckons  and  shimmers  with  promise 
From  the  lonely  fisherman's  cottage. 

Father  and  brother  are  out  at  sea, 

And  alone, 

All  alone  in  the  cottage,  she  sits, 

The  fisher's  lovely  daughter. 

She  sits  at  the  hearth 

And  listens  to  the  kettle 

Singing  its  droning,  drowsy  song. 

And  she  shakes  fuel  and  heaps  sticks  on  the  fire 

And  blows  on  it, 

So  that  the  flickering  red  light 

Lights  up,  with  a  lovely  magic, 

That  blossoming  face, 

Those  soft  white  shoulders 

That  stand  out  strangely  from  the  coarse,  gray 

shirt ; 

Shines  on  those  small  and  careful  hands 
That  are  binding  the  little  petticoat 
Tighter  about  her  waist.  >, 


The  North  Sea  177 

Suddenly  the  door  springs  open 
And  the  nocturnal  stranger  enters. 
Confident  with  love,  his  eyes  are  fixed 
On  that  white,  slender  girl, 
Who  trembles  before  him, 
Like  a  frail  and  frightened  lily. 
And  he  drops  his  mantle  on  the  ground 
And  smiles  and  says: 

"  Behold,  my  child,  I  keep  my  word  ; 

I  come — and  with  me  come 

The  ancient  times,  when  all  the  gods 

Came  down  from  heaven  to  the  daughters  of 

men, 

And  embraced  them 
And  begat  with  them 
Sceptre-bearing  races  of  kings, 
And  heroes,  shakers  of  the  world  .  .  . 
But,  child,  do  not  stand  astonished  any  longer, 
Amazed  at  my  divinity; 
But  get  me,  I  beg  of  you,  some  tea  with  rum, 
For  it's  cold  outside. 
And  on  such  raw  nights 
We  shiver, — even  we,  who  are  immortal; 
And,  being  gods,  we  catch  ungodly  sneezings, 
With  colds  and  coughing  that  are  almost  death- 
less." 


178  Book  of  Songs 

POSEIDON 
Die  Sonnenlichter  spielten 

The  sun's  gay  lights  were  playing 

Over  the  wide  and  rolling  sea. 

Far  off,  and  anchored,  I  saw  the  ship 

That  was  to  take  me  home; 

But  the  right  wind  was  lacking 

And  I  was  still  sitting  on  a  white  sand-dune 

Upon  the  beach. 

And  I  read  the  song  of  Odysseus, 

That  old  and  ever-youthful  song 

From  whose  leaves,  with  the  breath  of   the 

ocean  rushing  through  them, 
Rises  joyfully, 
The  breath  of  the  gods, 
And  the  radiant  Springtime  of  man, 
And  the  blue,  smiling  heaven  of  Hellas. 

My  noble  heart  was  loyal,  and  accompanied 
The  son  of  Laertes  through  terror  and  travail ; 
Sat  down  with  him,  suffered  and  wept  with  him 
At  friendly  hearths 
Where   queens   regaled   him,   spinning  purple 

cloths. 

It  helped  him  with  his  lies,  and  aided  his  escape 
From  giants'  caverns  and  the  arms  of  sirens. 
It  followed  him  down  the  Cimmerian  night, 
Through  storm  and  shipwreck- 
It  stood  with  him  through  struggles  past  all 

telling. 


The  North  Sea  179 

And  then  I  sighed,  "  Oh  harsh  Poseidon, 
Thy  anger  is  fearful; 
And  I  myself  am  afraid 
Of  my  own  home-coming." 

Scarcely  had  I  spoken, 

When  the  sea  was  churned  into  foam 

And  out  of  the  whitening  waters  rose 

The  head  of  the  sea-god, 

Sea-weed  crowned, 

And  scornfully  he  called : 

"  Have  no  fear,  little  poet ! 

I  haven't  the  least  intention  to  harm 

Your  poor  little  boat, 

Nor  frighten  your  precious  little  soul 

With  a  lusty,  long-to-be-remembered  rocking. 

For  you,  bardlet,  have  never  vexed  me. 

You  have  never,  that  I  know  of,  shaken  the 

smallest  turret 
Of  Priam's  holy  city. 
Nor  have  you  singed  a  single  hair 
From  the  eyelash  of  my  son,  Polyphemus; 
And,  surely,  never  have  you  been  befriended  or 

counseled 
By  Pallas  Athene,  the  goddess  of  Wisdom !  " 


Thus  cried  Poseidon 

And  dived  back  in  the  sea. 

And  at  the  coarse  old  sailor's  joke 

I  heard  Amphitrite,  the  fat  old  fish-wife, 

And  the  stupid  daughters  of  Nereus, 

Laughing  under  the  waters. 


180  Book  of  Songs 

DECLARATION 
Herangedammert  kam  der  Abend 

The  evening  came,  dusk-enshrouded, 

The  tide  tossed  in  wildly; 

And  I  sat  on  the  beach,  watching 

The  white  dance  of  the  breakers. 

My  bosom  heaved  like  the  sea, 

And  yearning  seized  me — a  keen  home-sickness 

For  you,  and  your  fair  image 

That  rises  over  all  things, 

And  calls  me  forever, 

Over  all  and  forever, 

In  the  howling  of  the  winds,  in  the  roaring  of 

the  sea 
And  in  the  sighing  clamor  of  my  own  heart. 

With  a  light  reed  I  wrote  upon  the  sand 
"  Agnes,  I  love  you !  " 

But  heartless  waves  crept  up  and  poured  them- 
selves 

Over  that  sweet  confession, 
And  blotted  it  out. 

Frail  reed,  shifting  and  treacherous  sand, 

Unstable  waters,  I'll  trust  you  no  more ! 

The  heaven  grows   darker,   my  heart   grows 

wilder ; 
And  with  strong  hands,  from  Norway's  mighty 

forests 

I'll  tear  the  highest  pine; 
And  dip  it  deep 
In  ^Etna's  glowing  crater. 
And  with  such  a  pen, 
Fiery  and  gigantic, 

I'll  write  upon  the  darkening  dome  of  heaven 
"  Agnes,  I  love  you !  " 


The  North  Sea  181 

Thus  every  night  that  flaming  line  shall  burn 
And  blaze  down  from  the  furthest  skies ; 
And  all  the  vast  generations  of  men 
Shall  read  and  thrill  with  the  rapturous  words : 
"  Agnes,  I  love  you !  " 
From 

A  NIGHT  IN   THE   CABIN 

Das  Meer  hat  seine  Perlen 

The  sea  has  its  pearls, 
The  heaven  its  stars, — 
But  my  heart,  my  heart, 
My  heart  has  its  love. 

The  sea  and  the  heaven  are  great, 
But  my  heart  is  greater  still ; 
And  fairer  than  pearls  or  stars 
Glistens  and  sparkles  my  love. 

Oh  young  and  lovely  maiden 
Come  to  my  fathomless  heart; 
My  soul  and  the  sea  and  the  heavens 
Are  wasting  away  with  love. 

STORM 
Es  wiitet  der  Sturm 

The  storm  rages  now 

And  whips  the  waves, 

And  the  waters,  boiling  and  furious, 

Tower  into  a  moving  waste 

Of  white  and  flowing  mountains. 

And  the  ship  climbs  them 

Sharply,  painfully; 

And  suddenly  plunges  down, 

Into  a  black  and  yawning  chasm  of  flood. 


1 82  Book  of  Songs 

O  Sea! 

Mother  of  Venus,  born  of  your  quickening 

foam, 

Grandmother  of  Love !    Help  me ! 
Already,    light    of    wing,    and    smelling    for 

corpses, 

The  white  and  ghostly  sea-mew  hovers 
And  whets  its  bill  on  the  mast-head, 
And  lusts  to  feed  on  my  heart 
Which  rings  with  the  praise  of  thy  daughter; 
The  heart  that  thy  grandson,  the  little  scamp, 
Has  taken  for  plaything. 

Fruitless  my  prayers  and  entreaties ! 

My  cry  dies  in  the  rushing  storm, 

In  the  alarum  of  the  wind. 

It  roars  and  rattles  and  whistles  and  wails — 

A  madhouse  of  sounds ! 

And  between  times  I  can  hear, 

Far  off  but  distinctly, 

Magical  harp-tones, 

Passionate  singing, 

Soul-melting  and  soul-tearing — 

And  I  know  the  voice  .   .   . 

Far  on  the  rocky  coast  of  Scotland 

Where  an  old,  gray  castle 

Juts  into  the  boiling  sea ; 

There,  at  a  high-arched  window, 

A  woman  stands,  lovely  and  sick  at  heart, 

Delicate-featured  and  marble-pale. 

And  she  plays  on  the  harp  and  sings ; 

And  the  storm  tosses  her  long  hair, 

And  carries  her  dark  song 

Over  the  wide  and  darkening  sea. 


The  North  Sea 


183 


CALM  AT  SEA 

Meeresstille!     Ihre  Strahlen 

Calm  at  sea !    The  sun  is  throwing 
Great  long  beams  upon  the  water, 
And  the  ship  ploughs  through  the  furrows, 
Through  a  sea  of  tossing  jewels. 

And  the  bosun  on  his  belly 

Softly  snores  beside  the  tiller; 

While  a  shrinking,  tar-smeared  ship's  boy 

Patches  sail  beside  the  foremast. 

Underneath  the  dirt,  his  cheeks  are 
Reddening  slowly ;  fear  or  sorrow 
Makes  his  broad  mouth  twitch  and  tremble 
And  his  large,  deep  eyes  are  troubled. 

For  the  Captain  stands  before  him, 
Storms  and  swears  and  scolds  him :  "  Rascal ! 
Rascal !    You've  been  at  the  barrel. 
Rascal !    You  have  stolen  a  herring !  " 

Calm  at  sea !  .   .   .  Above  the  rollers 
Lo,  a  little  fish  leaps  gaily; 
Warms  his  little  head  with  sunlight, 
Flaps  his  little  tail  with  ardor. 

But  a  sea-gull,  from  high  spaces, 
Shoots  down  on  the  giddy  spratling; 
And,  her  prey  held  in  her  talons, 
Back  into  the  blue  she  circles. 


184  Book  of  Songs 

PEACE 
Hoch  am  Himmel  stand  die  Sonne 

The  sun  stood  high  in  the  heavens 

Swathed  in  white  clouds ; 

The  sea  was  still. 

I  lay  in  the  helm  of  the  vessel, 

Dreamily  musing  .   .  .  When,  half  awake 

And  half  asleep,  I  saw  the  Christ, 

The  Saviour  of  the  world. 

In  a  white,  waving  garment 

He  walked,  tall  as  a  giant, 

Over  land  and  sea. 

His  head  rose  into  the  heavens, 

His  hands  were  stretched  in  blessing 

Over  land  and  sea; 

And,  like  a  heart  in  his  breast, 

He  carried  the  sun, 

The  great,  red,  burning  sun. 

And  that  flaming  heart,  that  fiery  splendor, 

Poured  all  its  hallowed  sunbeams, 

And  all  its  tender,  compassionate  light, 

Wide-spread  and  warming, 

Over  land  and  sea. 

Clear  and  happy  bells  were  ringing, 
Drawing  on  the  gliding  vessel; 
Drew,  like  swans  with  ropes  of  roses, 
Lightly  to  a  fair,  green  harbor 
Where  men  lived  in  a  lofty,  towering 
Sky-scraping  city. 


The  North  Sea  185 

Wonder  of  peace!    How  quiet  the  town! 

The  cries  and  the  clamor  were  hushed ; 

The  clatter  of  trade  was  over. 

And,  through  the  clean-swept,  echoing  streets, 

Men  in  white  raiment  wandered 

Carrying  palm-branches. 

And  where  two  met  in  that  city, 

They  gazed  at  each  other  with  understanding, 

And,  thrilling  with  love  and  a  sweet  abnegation, 

Kissed  each  other  on  the  brow. 

And  both  looked  up 

At  the  glowing  heart  of  the  Saviour 

That  joyfully  sacrificed  its  red  blood 

In  streams  of  ruddy  light. 

And  they,  thrice-blest,  would  cry, 

"  Praise  be  to  Jesus  Christ! " 

If  such  a  conception  would  have  been  granted  you, 
What  would  you  have  given, 
Dearly  beloved  brother ! 
You  who  are  so  weak  in  the  head  and  the  loins 
And  so  strong  in  the  faith! 
You  who  worship  the  Trinity  so  religiously 
And  kiss  the  cross  and  the  pup  and  the  paw 
Of  your  noble  protectress  daily. 
You  who  talked  yourself  into  the  council 
And  a  place  on  the  bench 
And,  at  last,  to  a  part  in  the  governing 
Of  that  virtuous  city, 
Where  dust  and  Faith  arise, 
And  the  long-suffering  Spree,  with  its  holy  waters, 
Washes  the  souls  and  dilutes  the  tea  of  the  faith- 
ful- 
Had  you  but  conceived  this  vision, 


1 86  Book  of  Songs 

Dearly  beloved, 

You  would  have  taken  it  to  market 
And  offered  it  in  high  places. 
Your  white,  simpering  features 
Would  melt  with  devotion; 
And  the  high  and  mighty  lady, 
Enraptured  and  trembling  with  bliss, 
Would  sink,  praying,  on  her  knees  beside  you. 
And  her  eyes,  beaming  with  happiness, 
Would  promise  you  an  increase  of  salary 
Of  a  hundred  sterling  Prussian  dollars. 
And  you  would  fold  your  hands  and  stammer, 
"  Praise  be  to  Jesus  Christ!  " 


SECOND    CYCLE 
SEA  GREETING 

Thalatta!     Thalatta! 

Thalatta !     Thalatta ! 
Hail  to  thee,  oh  Sea,  ageless  and  eternal ! 
Hail  to  thee,  from  a  jubilant  heart — 
Ten  thousand  times  hail ! 
Hail,  as  you  were  hailed  by 
Ten  thousand  Grecian  hearts; 
Calamity-conquering,  homeward-hungering, 
Immortal  Grecian  hearts. 

The  billows  rolled  higher, 

Heaving  and  howling; 

The  sun  poured  eagerly  downward 

A  rain  of  rosy  lights; 

The  startled  sea-gulls 

Flew  off  with  loud  cries; 

And  there  were  sounds  of  horses  stamping, 

And  the  clashing  of  shields, 

And  echoes  ringing,  like  a  battle-shout: 

"Thalatta!     Thalatta!" 

Hail  to  thee,  Sea,  ageless  and  eternal ! 

The  whisper  of  your  waters  is  as  the  speech 

of  my  own  land ; 

The  shimmer  and  surge  of  your  billowy  wastes 
Is  as  the  dreams  of  my  childhood; 
187 


i 88  Book  of  Songs 

And  old  memory  reveals  in  new  colors 
All  of  those  lovely,  wonderful  playthings, 
All  of  those  glittering  Christmas  presents, 
All  of  those  rosy  branches  of  coral, 
Goldfish  and  pearls  and  shining  sea-shells, — 
All  that  you  cherish  and  guard 
Down  in  your  clear  and  crystal  depths. 

Oh,  how  I  have  suffered  in  strange  places ! 

My  heart  lay  in  my  breast 

Like  a  fading  flower 

In  the  tin  box  of  a  botanist. 

It  seems  as  though  I  had  sat  through  the  whole 

Winter, 

A  sick  man  in  a  dismal  room, — 
And  now  I  leave  it ! 
And  suddenly  there  streams  upon  me 
The  emerald  Spring,  the  sun-awakened ; 
And  white  branches  rustle 
And  the  young  flowers  look  at  me 
With  bright  and  odorous  eyes, 
And    there's    perfume    and    humming    and 

laughter  in  all  that  breathes, 
And  in  the  blue  heavens  the  very  birds  are 

singing : 
"Thalatta!     Thalatta!" 

Oh  dauntless,  home-returning  heart, 

How  often,  oh  how  often, 

The  barbarian  girls  of  the  North  have 

assailed  you ! 

How  often  have  they  shot  burning  arrows 
With  their  great,  conquering  eyes ; 
How  often  have  they  threatened  to  cleave  the 

breast 


The  North  Sea  189 

With  curved,  two-edged  words,  sharper  than 

swords ; 

How  often  their  chiseled,  hieroglyphic  letters 
Have  beaten  on  my  poor,  bewildered  brain. 
I  raised  my  shield  against  them  vainly. 
The  arrows  whistled,  the  blows  came  crashing, 
And  the  barbarian  girls  of  the  North 
Drove  me  to  the  sea — 
And  now,  with  a  great  breath,  I  greet  it, 
The  long-loved,  rescuing  sea, 
"Thalatta!     Thalatta!" 


SUNSET 
Die  schone  Sonne 

The  splendid  sun 

Has  slipped  quietly  into  the  sea; 

The  waving  waters  are  already  clouded 

With  the  shadows  of  night; 

Only  the  afterglow 

Stretches  a  web  of  gold  and  rosy  lights  over 

them. 

The  restless  tide 

Urges  the  billows  toward  the  shore, 
And  the  white  waves  leap  and  gambol 
Like  a  flock  of  woolly  lambkins 
At  evening,  when  a  singing  herd-boy 
Drives  them  home. 


190  Book  of  Songs 

"  How  splendid  is  the  Sun !  " 

Thus,  after  a  long  silence,  spoke  my  friend 

Who  had  been  walking  with  me  on  the  beach. 

And,  half  in  fun  and  half  in  earnest, 

He  assured  me  that  the  sun  was  a  lovely 
woman 

Who  had  married  the  old  sea-god  for  con- 
venience. 

All  day  long  she  wanders  happily 

Through  the  high  heavens,  robed  in  red  and 
purple, 

Blazing  with  diamonds; 

Beloved  and  worshiped 

By  every  creature  in  the  world ; 

And  all  creation  is  made  happy 

With  the  light  and  warmth  of  her  glance. 

But  at  evening  she  is  forced  ruthlessly 

To  turn  back  again 

To  the  damp  house  and  the  sterile  embraces 

Of  her  senile  spouse. 

"  Believe  me,"  my  friend  continued, 
And  laughed  and  sighed  and  laughed  again, 
"  They  live  in  a  sweet  wedlock  there  below ! 
Either  they  sleep  or  else  they  quarrel 
Till  the  sea  above  them  towers  and  storms, 
And  the  sailor  hears,  in  the  roar  of  the 

billows, 

How  the  old  one  scolds  at  his  wife : 
'  Whore  of  the  heavens ! 
Radiant  harlot ! 

All  day  long  you  glow  for  others, 
And  at  night,    for  me,   you  are  tired  and 

frosty ! ' 


The  North  Sea  191 

After  such  curtain-lectures 
It's  no  wonder  that  the  proud  sun 
Breaks  into  tears  and  bewails  her  lot, 
And  weeps  so  long  and  bitterly,  that  the  sea- 
god 

Springs  from  his  bed  in  sheer  desperation 
And  swims  swiftly  up  to  the  surface  of  the 

sea 
To  recover  his  wind  and  his  wits. 

So  it  was  I  saw  him,  a  few  nights  ago, 
Looming  up,  breast-high,  above  the  waves. 
He  wore  a  yellow  flannel  jacket, 
And  a  lily-white  nightcap, 
And  a  lined  and  withered  face." 


THE   GODS   OF  GREECE 

Vollbluhender  Mond!     In  deinem  Licht 

Great  blossoming  moon !    Your  yellow  light 
Turns  all  of  the  sea  to  liquid  gold ; 
Into  the  distance  the  long  beach  stretches 
As  clear  as  day  with  the  glamor  of  evening. 
And  through  the  starless,  pale-blue  heavens, 
Massive,  white  clouds  are  moving; 
Like  colossal  statues  of  the  gods, 
Of  glistening  marble. 

No!     Those  white  images  never  are  clouds! 

They  are  the  very  gods  of  old  Hellas, 

Who  ruled  the  ancient  world  so  gladly, 

Who  now,  dead  and  supplanted, 

Drift,  like  great  ghosts,  in  a  spectral  procession 

Through  the  hushed  heavens  at  midnight. 


192  Book  of  Songs 

Awed  and  enraptured  I  wondered  and  looked  on 

This  air-molded  Pantheon, 

These  solemn,  majestic  and  fearfully-moving 

Towering  figures  .   .   . 

That  one  is  Kronion,  king  of  the  heaven, 

Snow-white  are  the  locks  on  his  head, 

Those  time-renowned  locks  that  could  shake  all 

Olympus ; 

He  holds  in  his  hands  dead,  powerless  bolts, 
And  his  lined  face  is  feeble  with  care, 
Yet  firm  with  a  touch  of  the  ancient  pride. 
Those  times  were  better  and  nobler,  oh  Zeus, 
When  you  took  a  lordly  delight  in 
The  nymphs,  and  the  youths,  and  the  sweet,  smok- 
ing altar. 

But  even  the  gods  cannot  rule  on  forever ; 
The  young  ones  will  drive  out  their  elders, 
As  you  yourself  drove  out  your  hoary  father, 
Supplanting  your  uncles,  the  Titans, 
Jupiter  Parricidal 
And  I  see  you  too,  haughty  Juno ! 
In  spite  of  all  your  jealous  fears, 
The  sceptre  is  wielded  today  by  another, 
And  you  are  no  longer  the  Queen  of  heaven; 
And  your  large  eyes  are  watery  and  dull, 
And  your  white  arms  have  lost  their  power, 
And  never  can  your  vengeance  trouble 
The  mild,  God-bearing  Virgin 
And  the  miracle-working  Son  of  God. 
You  too,  I  see  there,  Pallas  Athene ! 
Could  not  your  shield  and  wisdom  ward 
Disaster  from  the  deities? 
And  you  are  there,  you  too,  Aphrodite,      >» 
Once  the  golden  girl,  now  the  silvered  one ! 


The  North  Sea  193 

Truly,  the  girdle  of  love  scarce  adorns  you, 

Yet  I  am  still  strangely  awed  by  your  beauty; 

And  if  you  would  give  yourself  and  bless  me 

Like  other  great  heroes,  I'd  perish  of  fear — 

A  corpse-like  goddess  you  seem  to  me, 

Venus  Libitina! 

No  longer  the  terrible  Ares 

Looks  at  you  with  the  eyes  of  love. 

And  how  the  youthful  Phoebus  Apollo 

Is  saddened !    His  lyre  is  mute 

That  joyfully  sweetened  the  feasts  of  the  gods. 

Hephaestus  is  even  sadder, 

And  truly  the  limping  one  never  again 

Shall  take  Hebe's  place 

Or  busily  serve  the  great  assembly 

With  heavenly  nectar. — Time  has  extinguished 

The  inextinguishable  laughter  of  the  gods. 

Ye  gods  of  Greece  I  have  never  loved  you! 

For  hateful  to  me  are  all  the  Greeks, 

And  even  the  Romans  are  odious. 

Yet  holy  compassion  and  tremulous  pity 

Flow  through  my  heart 

When  I  see  you  there  above  me, 

Forgotten  divinities, 

Dead  and  night-wandering  shadows; 

Weak  as  the  mist,  torn  by  the  wind. — 

And  when  I  think  how  vapid  and  spineless 

The  new  gods  are  who  have  conquered  you, 

These  new,  sad  gods,  who  now  are  the  rulers, 

Who  take  joy  at  our  pain  in  their  sheep's  cloak 

of  meekness — 

Oh,  then  I  am  seized  with  a  rancorous  hate 
And  I  would  break  down  their  newly-built  temples 


194  Book  of  Songs 

And  fight  for  you,  ye  ancient  rulers, 

For  you  and  your  sweet,  ambrosial  right; 

And  before  your  highest  altars, 

Built  up  again,  and  smoking  with  sacrifice, 

I  humbly  would  kneel  and  invoke  you, 

Raising  my  arms  in  a  prayer. — 

For,  even  though,  ye  ancient  deities, 
When  you  joined  in  the  furious  combats  of 

mortals, 

You  always  fought  on  the  side  of  the  victor; 
Now  you  will  see  that  man  is  greater  than  you. 
For  I  stand  here  in  the  combat  of  gods 
And  fight  on  for  you,  the  vanquished. 

Thus  I  spoke,  and  high  above  me 

I  saw  those  cloudy  figures  blushing, 

Gazing  on  me  as  though  dying; 

Transfigured  by  sorrow — and  then  they  vanished. 

The  moon  was  suddenly  hidden 

Under  the  clouds  that  rolled  on  darkly. 

The  sea  came  up  with  a  rush ; 

And  into  the  heavens,  calm  and  victorious, 

Walked  the  eternal  stars. 


QUESTIONS 
Am  Meer,  am  wusten,  nachtlichen  Meer 

By  the  sea,  by  the  dreary,  night-colored  sea, 

A  young  man  stands ; 

His  heart  full  of  anguish,  his  head  full  of 

doubts, 
And  with  pale  lips  he  questions  the  billows : 


The  North  Sea  195 

"  Oh  solve  me  the  riddle  of  Life, 

The  torturing,  deathless  riddle 

Which  has  cracked  so  many  heads, 

Heads  in  hieroglyphic  bonnets, 

Heads  in  black  birettas  and  turbans, 

Heads  in  weighty  wigs  and  a  thousand  other 

Poor,  perspiring  heads  of  people — 

Tell  me,  what  is  Man  ?    And  what's  his  meaning  ? 

Where  does  he  come  from  ?    Where  is  he  going  ? 

Who  dwells  up  there  among  the  golden  stars?  " 

The  billows  are  whispering  their  eternal  whispers. 
The  wind  blows  on,  the  clouds  go  sailing ; 
The  stars  keep  twinkling,  indifferent  and  cold. 
And  a  fool  waits  for  his  answer. 

THE    PHOENIX 

Es  kommt  ein  Vogel  ge  flog  en  aus  Westen 

A  bird  comes  flying  out  of  the  West. 
It  flies  eastward 
Toward  its  orient  garden-home, 
Where  strange  spices  blossom  and  breathe, 
And  palm-trees  rustle  and  springs  are  cooling. 
And  the  glad  bird  sings  as  he  flies : 
"  She  loves  him !     She  loves  him ! 
She  carries  his  picture  in  her  small  heart, 
And  carries  it  sweetly  and  shyly  hidden, 
And  scarcely  knows  it,  herself! 
But  in  her  dreams  he  stands  before  her, 
She  pleads  and  cries  and  kisses  his  hands, 
And  calls  him  by  name, 
And,  calling,  she  wakes  and  lies  half- 
frightened, 


196  Book  of  Songs 

And  rubs  her  eyes  with  a  trembling  wondef — 
She  loves  him !     She  loves  him !  " 

I  leaned  on  the  mast  on  the  upper  deck; 
And  stood  and  listened  to  the  bird's  song. 
The  white-curling  billows  leaped  up  and 

sprang 

Like  dusky  green  horses  with  silvery  manes. 
With  shimmering  sails,  the  Heligolanders, 
Those  daring  nomads  of  the  sea, 
Went  by,  like  lines  of  soaring  swans. 
Over  me,  in  the  eternal  blue, 
White  clouds  were  floating 
And  the  eternal  sun, 

The  Rose  of  the  heavens,  the  fire-blossoming, 
Laughed  at  its  splendor  mirrored  in  the  sea;- 
And  sky  and  sea  and  my  own  wild  heart 
Rang  with  the  echo : 
"  She  loves  him !    She  loves  him !  " 


SEA-SICKNESS 
Die  grauen  Nachmittagswolken 

The  gray  clouds  of  late  afternoon 
Sag  and  hang  heavily  over  the  sea 
Which  heaves  darkly  against  them; 
And  the  ship  drives  on  between  them. 

Sea-sick,  I  keep  on  sitting  by  the  mainmast, 
And  give  myself  up  to  a  host  of  reflections; 
Reflections  that  are  ash-gray  and  very  old, 
That  were  already  made  by  Father  Lot 


The  North  Sea  197 

After  he  had  been  enjoying  good  things  too  freely, 

And  found  himself  in  a  bad  way. 

With  this  I  think  of  other  old  stories : 

How  the  cross-bearing  pilgrims,  in  the  days  of  their 

stormy  sea- journeys, 
Would  be  soothed  by  kissing  the  picture 
Of  the  blessed  Virgin. 
How  sea-sick  knights,  in  similar  distress, 
Would  press  the  precious  glove  of  their  adored 
Against  their  lips — and  straightway  would  be 

cured  .   .   . 

But  here  I  sit,  and  keep  on  chewing 
An  old  dried  herring,  that  salty  consoler 
When  one's  sick  as  a  cat  or  down  as  a  dog. 

All  this  time  the  ship  is  battling 

With  the  wild,  tossing  tide. 

Like  a  rearing  war-horse,  she  poises  herself 

On  her  trembling  stern,  till  the  rudder  cracks. 

Then  down  she  plunges,  headlong 

Into  the  howling  watery  chasm  once  more. 

Then  again,  like  one  reckless  and  weak  with  love, 

She  seems  about  to  rest  herself 

On  the  black  bosom  of  a  giant  wave, 

That,  with  a  huge  roaring,  comes  toward  her. 

And  suddenly,  a  furious  sea-cataract, 

Seething  and  foaming,  rushes  upon  us, 

And  souses  me  with  foam. 

This  tumbling  and  tossing  and  rocking 

Is  beyond  bearing ! 

In  vain  my  eyes  strain  to  seek 

The  German  coast.    Alas!  only  water — 

Nothing  but  water;  endless,  treacherous  water. 


198  Book  of  Songs 

As  the  winter-wanderer  longs  at  evening 

For  a  warm  and  comforting  cup  of  tea, 

So  my  heart  longs  for  thee, 

My  German  fatherland ! 

Though  forever  thy  sweet  soil  is  encumbered 

With  madness,  hussars  and  poor  verses, 

And  thin  and  tepid  pamphlets ! 

Though  forever  thy  donkeys 

Feed  upon  roses,  instead  of  on  thistles! 

Though  forever  thy  high-born  monkeys 

Prink  and  preen  themselves  in  idle  splendor, 

And  think  themselves  better  than  all  the  other 

Dull,  heavy-footed,  stupid  and  common  cattle! 

Though  thy  feeble  old  snail-council 

Think  they  vill  live  forever 

Since  they  move  forward  so  slowly; 

Daily  clearing  their  throats  to  argue 

"  Does  not  the  cheese  belong  to  the  cheese-mites  ?  " 

Or  consuming  long  hours  discussing 

"  Methods  of  improving  Egyptian  sheep  " 

So  that  the  shepherd  may  shear  them  like  others, 

Without  a  difference — 

Though  forever  folly  and  wrong  and  injustice 

May  cover  thee,  oh  Germany, 

Still  am  I  yearning  for  thee  now : 

For  thou,  at  least,  art  good,  dry,  solid  land. 


The  North  Sea  199 

EPILOG 

Wu  auf  dem  Felde  die  W  eizenhalmen 

Like  the  ears  of  wheat  in  a  wheat-field  growing, 

So  a  thousand  thoughts  spring  and  tremble 

In  the  minds  of  men. 

But  the  tender  fancies  of  love 

Are  like  the  happy  colors  that  leap  among  them ; 

Red  and  blue  flowers. 

Red  and  blue  flowers ! 

The  sullen  reaper  destroys  you  as  worthless ; 

Block-headed  fools  will  scornfully  thresh  you ; x 

Even  the  penniless  wayfarer 

Who  is  charmed  and  cheered  by  your  faces, 

Shakes  his  poor  head, 

And  calls  you  pretty  weeds! 

But  the  young  girl  from  the  village, 

Twining  her  garland, 

Honors  and  gathers  you. 

And  with  you  she  brightens  her  lovely  tresses. 

And  thus  adorned,  she  hurries  to  the  dancing, 

Where  fiddles  and  flutes  are  sweetly  sounding ; 

Or  runs  to  the  sheltering  beech-tree, 

Where  the  voice  of  her  lover  sounds  even  sweeter 

Than  fiddles  and  flutes. 

1  Holzerne  Flegel  zerdreschen  euch  hohnend, 

In  this  line  Heine  again  makes  use  of  a  satiric  and  subtle  play 
on  words ;  "  holzerne  "  is  "  wooden,"  and  "  Flegel "  can  mean 
either  a  "  flail "  or  a  "  clown." 


NEW  POEMS 


NEW  SPRING 
(1828-1831) 


NEW    SPRING 

i. 
In  dem  Walde  spriesst  und  grunt  es 

Now  the  wood  blooms  like  a  maiden 

Running  to  a  lover's  meeting; 
And  the  sun  laughs  down  upon  it : 

"  Welcome,  Spring !     A  fervent  greeting !  " 

Nightingale,  I  hear  your  flute-call 
As  it  starts  the  woodland  ringing. 

What  a  poignant,  long-drawn  cadence !  .   .   . 
"Love" — 'Tis  all  you  know  of  singing! 

2. 
Leise  zieht  durch  meln  Gemut 

Lightly  swinging  bells  are  ringing 

With  a  soft  insistence; 
Tinkle,  tiny  tunes  of  Spring, 

Tinkle  through  the  distance. 

Fill  the  air  and  run  to  where 
All  the  flowers  grow  sweeter. 

If  you  see  a  Rosebud  there 
Tell  her  that  I  greet  her ! 
205 


206  New  Poems 

3- 
Der  Schmetterling  ist  in  die  Rose  verliebt 

The  butterfly  is  in  love  with  the  rose 
And  flutters  about  her  all  day, 

While  he,  in  turn,  is  pursued  by  a  bright 
Sunbeam  that  follows  his  way. 

But  wait, — with  whom  is  the  rose  in  love  ? 

For  whom  does  she  tremble  and  pale? 
Is  it  the  silent  evening  star  ? 

Or  the  singing  nightingale? 

I  do  not  know  whom  the  red  rose  loves; 

But  I  love  you  all,  for  I 
Sing  nightingale,  sunbeam,  and  evening  star, 

The  rose  and  the  butterfly ! 

4- 
Es  erklingen  alle  Baume 

All  the  trees  are  full  of  music; 

Nests  are  singing,  high  and  small. 
In  this  green,  orchestral  concert, 

Who's  conductor  of  it  all? 

Can  it  be  that  old,  gray  plover 
Who  keeps  nodding  to  the  beat  ? 

Or  that  pedant  who,  up  yonder, 

Marks  his  "  Cuckoo  "  strong  and  sweet  ? 


New  Spring  207 

Or  is  it  the  stork,  who  gravely, 

Keeps  on  tapping  with  his  bill, 
Just  as  though  he  were  directing, 

While  the  others  soar  and  trill. 

No ;  my  own  heart  holds  the  leader ; 

Well  he  knows  the  stress  thereof! 
And  I  feel  the  time  he's  beating, 

And  I  think  his  name  is  Love. 


5- 
1m  Anfang  war  die  Nachtigall 

"  In  the  beginning  was  the  Word, 

Sung  by  the  nightingale,  '  Sweet!  Sweet! ' 

While  grass  and  apple-blossoms  stirred 
And  violets  found  their  dancing  feet. 

"  He  bit  his  breast  until  the  blood 

Flowed  freely,  and  from  that  bright  stream 

A  tall  and  lovely  rose-tree  stood; 

And  there  he  sings  his  passionate  dream. 

"  All  of  us  birds  now  live  in  peace; 

His  blood  redeemed  all  things  that  fly. 
Yet  if  the  rosy  song  should  cease 

The  wood,  and  all  it  holds,  would  die." 

So,  to  his  brood,  the  sparrow  speaks, 
As  though  he  had  them  all  in  church; 

The  mother-bird  is  proud  and  squeaks 
Upon  her  high  and  lawful  perch. 


2o8  New  Poems 

She's  a  good  housewife,  every  day 
She  only  lives  to  build  and  breed; 

While  he,  to  pass  the  time  away, 
Lectures  his  children  in  the  creed. 


Es  drangt  die  Not,  es  lauten  die  Glocken 

I  must  go  forth,  the  bells  are  pealing; 

And  oh !    I've  lost  my  head  completely ! 
A  pair  of  eyes,  in  league  with  Springtime, 

Have  been  conspiring  far  too  sweetly. 

A  pair  of  brilliant  eyes  and  Springtime 
Storm  at  my  heart  and  have  incensed  me — 

Even  the  nightingales  and  roses 
I  think  are  in  a  plot  against  me! 


7- 
Die  blauen  Fruhlingsaugen 

The  deep,  blue  eyes  of  Springtime 
Peer  from  the  grass  beneath; 

They  are  the  tender  violets 
That  I  will  twine  in  a  wreath. 

I  pick  them  and  I  ponder — 
And  all  my  hopes  and  aims, 

All  of  my  hidden  fancies 
The  nightingale  proclaims ! 


New  Spring  209 


Yes,  all  that  I  think,  he  echoes 
In  a  loud  and  lyric  mood ; 

And  now  my  deepest  secret 
Is  known  to  all  the  wood. 


8. 
Die  schlanke  Wasserlilie 

The  slender  water-lily 

Stares  at  the  heavens  above, 

And  sees  the  moon  who  gazes 
With  the  luminous  eyes  of  love. 

Blushing,  she  bends  and  lowers 
Her  head  in  a  shamed  retreat — 

And  there  is  the  poor,  pale  lover, 
Languishing  at  her  feet! 


9- 

Mit  deinen  blauen  Augen 

Your  eyes*  blue  depths  are  lifted, 
With  love  and  friendship  stirred. 

They  smile;  and,  lost  in  dreaming, 
I  cannot  speak  a  word. 

Your  eyes  and  their  deep  heavens 
Possess  me  and  will  not  depart — 

A  sea  of  blue  thoughts  rushing 
And  pouring  over  my  heart. 


2io  New  Poems 

10. 
Die  Rose  duftet — dock  ob  sie  empfindet 

The  rose  is  fragrant — but  can  she  be  feeling 
All  she  breathes  forth  ?    Can  the  nightingale 

Feel  half  his  own  rapture,  half  the  appealing 
Poignance  that  wakes  to  his  lyrical  hail? 

I  do  not  know.    The  truth  may  grieve  us ; 

And  why  should  we  be  quick  to  see 
That  such  deceptions  may  deceive  us; 

If  these  are  lies — well,  let  them  be. 

n. 

Wie  die  Mondes  Abbild  zittert 

As  the  moon's  pale  image  trembles 
In  the  sea's  wild  billows,  even 

While  the  moon  herself  in  silence 
Calmly  walks  across  the  heaven; 

So  you  wander,  my  beloved 

Calm  and  silent ;  while  there  waken 

Tears  and  tremblings,  as  your  image 
Shakes  because  my  heart  is  shaken. 

12. 
Es  haben  unsre  Herzen 

Our  hearts  have  made  a  holy 
Alliance,  firm  and  fast; 

They  understand  each  other, 
And  beat  as  one  at  last! 


New  Spring  211 

But  ah,  the  poor  young  rosebud 

That  lent  your  bosom  grace, 
Our  helpless,  little  confederate 

Was  crushed  in  our  embrace. 


ssej  die  man  stiehlt  im  Dunkeln 

Kisses  that  one  steals  in  darkness, 
And,  in  darkness,  are  returned, 

Those  are  blessed  kisses,  kindling 
Hearts  afresh  where  love  has  burned. 

Sad  with  thoughts  and  premonitions 
Then  the  spirit  loves  to  view 

All  the  past  it  can  remember, 
Wandering  in  the  future,  too. 

But  to  think  too  much  is  harmful, 
Most  of  all,  when  lovers  kiss  ;— 

Weep,  my  soul,  instead  of  thinking; 
Weeping's  easier  than  this! 

14. 
Es  war  ein  alter  Konig 

There  was  an  aged  monarch, 

His  heart  and  head  were  gray  with 
strife; 

This  poor,  old  monarch  wedded 
A  young  and  lovely  wife. 


212  New  Poems 

There  was  a  pretty  page-boy, 
His  hair  was  light/his  heart  was 
clean  ; 

He  carried  the  long  and  silken 
Train  of  the  fair  young  queen. 

You  know  the  old,  old  story 
So  sweet,  so  sad  to  tell  — 

Both  of  them  had  to  perish  ; 
They  loved  each  other  too  well. 


In  meiner  Erinnrung  erbliihen 

In  memory  many  pictures 

Arise  and  reassemble  — 
What  gives  your  voice  the  magic 

That  makes  me  burn  and  tremble? 

Oh,  do  not  say  you  love  me  ! 

All  that  may  bloom  most  brightly, 
Love  and  the  fires  of  Apnl, 

You  put  to  shame  so  lightly. 

Oh,  do  not  say  you  love  me! 

But  kiss  in  quiet  closes, 
And  laugh  when,  in  the  morning, 

I  show  you  withered  roses. 

16. 

Morgens  send'  ich  dir  die  Veilchen 

Every  day  I  send  you  violets 

Which  I  found  in  woods  at  dawn; 

And  at  evening  I  bring  roses 

Which  I  plucked  when  day  was  gone. 


New  Spring  213 

Do  you  know  what  these  two  flowers 
Say,  if  you  can  read  them  right? 

Through  the  day  you  shall  be  faithful 
And  shall  love  me  through  the  night. 


Der  Brief,  den  du  geschrieben 

Your  letter  does  not  move  me 
Although  the  words  are  strong; 

You  say  you  will  not  love  me  — 
But  ah,  the  letter's  long  .  .  . 

Twelve  pages,  neat  and  double! 

A  little  essay  !    Why, 
One  never  takes  such  trouble 

To  write  a  mere  good-bye. 

18. 
Sorge  me,  dass  ich  verrate 

Do  not  fear  that  I'll  betray  my 
Love  for  you.    The  world  ignores 

What  I  say  about  your  beauty 
When  I  gush  in  metaphors. 

Underneath  a  glade  of  flowers 
In  a  hushed  and  hidden  field, 

Lies  our  warm  and  glowing  secret, 
Burning  bright  —  but  still  concealed. 

Though  the  rose  may  flame  too  boldly, 
Never  fear  —  they  will  not  see! 

For  the  world  believes  that  fire 
Only  burns  in   "poetry." 


214  New  Poems 

19. 

Sterne  mit  den  goldnen  Fiisschen 

Stars  with  golden  feet  are  walking 
Through  the  skies  with  footsteps  light, 

Lest  they  wake  the  earth  below  them, 
Sleeping  in  the  lap  of  night. 

All  the  silent  forests  listen; 

Every  leaf's  a  small,  green  ear; 
And  the  dreaming  mountain  stretches 

Shadowy  arms  that  reach  me  here. 

Hush,  who  called  there  ?  .   .   .  My  heart  trembles 

As  the  dying  echoes  fail. 
Was  it  my  beloved,  or  was  it 

Just  a  lonely  nightingale? 

20. 
Die  holden  Wiinsche  bliihen 

The  sweet  desires  blossom 

And  fade,  and  revive  and  spend 

Their  beauty  and  wither,  and  blossom — 
And  so  on,  to  the  end. 

I  know  this,  and  it  saddens 

My  love  and  all  its  zest  ...  tt 

My  heart's  so  wise  and  clever 
It  bleeds  away  in  my  breast. 


A  MISCELLANY 

(1832-1839) 


SERAPHINE 
i. 

An  dem  still  en  Meeresstrande 

Night  has  come  with  silent  footsteps, 
On  the  beaches  by  the  ocean; 

And  the  waves,  with  curious  whispers, 
Ask  the  moon,  "  Have  you  a  notion 

"  Who  that  man  is  ?     Is  he  foolish, 

Or  with  love  is  he  demented  ? 
For  he  seems  so  sad  and  cheerful, 

So  cast  down  yet  so  contented." 

And  the  moon,  with  shining  laughter, 
Answers  them,  "  If  you  must  know  it, 

He  is  both  in  love  and  foolish ; 
And,  besides  that,  he's  a  poet !  " 

2. 
Dass  du  mich  liebst,  das  wusst'  ich 

I  was  aware  you  loved  me, 
I  knew  it  long,  my  dear ; 

Yet,  when  at  last  you  said  it, 
My  heart  was  torn  with  fear. 
217 


2i8  New  Poems 

I  climbed  high  up  the  mountain, 
And  sang  a  joyful  air; 

I  walked  the  seashore  weeping 
To  see  the  sunset  there. 

My  heart's  the  sun;  it  blazes 
High  in  the  heavens  above, 

And  sinks,  immense  and  glowing, 
In  a  burning  sea  of  love. 


3- 
Auf  diesen  Felsen  bauen  wir 

Upon  these  rocks  we  shall  erect 
A  church,  superb  and  splendid, 

Built  on  the  third  New  Testament  .   .   . 
The  sufferings  are  ended. 

Ended  at  last  the  difference 
Between  us,  false  and  shoddy ; 

Ended  the  stupid  rage  of  flesh, 
The  torments  of  the  body. 

Listen  how  God  in  that  dark  sea 
Speaks  with  a  thousand  voices, 

How,  in  the  thousand-lighted  skies, 
His  loveliness  rejoices. 

God's  beauty  moves  through  light  and  dark, 
Through  bright  and  secret  places ; 

His  spirit  lives  in  all  that  is — 
Even  in  our  embraces. 


A  Miscellany  219 

4- 
Schattenkusse,  Schattenliebe 

Shadow-love  and  shadow-kisses, 

Shadow-life — you  think  it  strange! 

Fool!     Did  you  imagine  this  is 

Fixed  and  constant ;  free  from  change  ? 

Everything  we  love  and  cherish 
Like  a  dream,  goes  hurrying  past; 

While  the  hearts  forget  and  perish, 
And  the  eyes  are  closed  at  last. 

5- 
Das  Frdulein  stand  am  Meere 

Upon  the  shore,  a  maiden 

Sighs  with  a  troubled  frown; 
She  seems  so  sorrow-laden 

To  see  the  sun  go  down. 

Don't  let  the  old  thing  grieve  you, 

Look  up  and  smile,  my  dear; 
For,  though  in  front  he  may  leave  you, 

He'll  rise  again  in  the  rear. 

6. 

Mil  schwarzen  Segeln  segelt  mein  Schiff 

With  great,  black  sails  my  ship  sails  on, 

On  through  a  storming  sea ; 
You  know  how  deathly  sick  I  am, 

And  how  you  have  tortured  me. 


220  New  Poems 

But  you  are  faithless  as  the  wind 
That  rushes  fast  and  free  .  .  . 

With  great,  black  sails  my  ship  sails  on, 
On  through  a  storming  sea. 

7- 

Wie  schdndlich  du  gehandelt 

I've  told  no  man  how  shameful 
You  were,  and  how  malicious ; 

But  I  have  sailed  away  to  the  sea 
And  told  it  to  the  fishes. 

Upon  the  land  I've  left  your 

Good  name,  so  none  may  doubt  you. 

But  through  the  length  and  depth  of  the 

sea, 
Everyone  knows  about  you! 

8. 

Es  ziehen  die  brausenden  Wellen 

The  waves  draw  in  and  stumble 

Upon  the  strand ; 
They  crumble  as  they  tumble 

Over  the  sand. 

With  strength  and  an  increasing 

Power  they  roar ; 
Their  energy's  unceasing —  »( 

What  is  it  for? 


A  Miscellany  221 

9- 
Es  ragt  ins  Meer  der  Runenstein 

The  runic  stone  juts  into  the  sea ; 

I  sit  beside  it,  dreaming. 
The  sea-gulls  cry,  the  waves  run  free, 

The  wind  is  whistling  and  screaming. 

Many  have  been  beloved  by  me, 
Many  I  thought  were  unfailing. 

Where  are  they  now  ?  .  .  .  The  waves 

run  free; 
The  wind  is  whistling  and  wailing. 

10. 
Das  Meer  erstrahlt  im  Sonnenschein 

The  sea  is  sparkling  in  the  sun, 

Golden  and  glad  to  be. 
My  brothers,  when  I  come  to  die, 

Bury  me  in  the  sea. 

For  I  have  always  loved  it ;  yes, 

And  it  was  kind  to  me ; 
It  cooled  my  heart,  how  often! 

We  were  good  friends,  were  we. 


222  New  Poems 

ANGELIQUE 

I. 
Wie  rasch  du  auch  voruberschrittest 

Although  you  hurried  coldly  past  me, 

Your  eyes  looked  backward  and  askance; 

Your  lips  were  curiously  parted, 

Though  stormy  pride  was  in  your  glance. 

Would  I  had  never  tried  to  hold  you, 
Nor  seek  your  white  and  flowing  train! 

Would  I  had  never  found  your  footsteps, 
Or  seeking  them,  had  sought  in  vain ! 

Now,  all  your  pride  and  wildness  vanished, 
You  are  as  tame  as  one  could  be ; 

Gentle,  and  sweet  beyond  endurance — 
And,  worse,  you  are  in  love  with  me! 

2. 

Wie  entwickeln  sich  dock  schnelle 

How  from  such  a  chance  beginning 
And  in  what  a  casual  fashion, 

There  has  grown  so  close  a  union, 
Such  a  great  and  tender  passion. 

Every  day  this  charming  creature 
Holds  me  faster  in  her  power, 

And  the  feeling  that  I  love  her  ^ 

Grows  upon  me  hour  by  hour. 


A  Miscellany  223 

And  her  soul  has  beauty  ?    Frankly, 

That's  a  matter  of  opinion; 
But  I'm  quite  sure  of  the  other 

Charms  she  shows  to  me,  her  minion. 

Those  white  lips  and  that  white  forehead ! 

Nose  that  wrinkles  on  occasion, 
When  her  lips  curve  into  laughter — 

And  how  swift  is  their  persuasion! 


3- 
Acht  wie  schon  hist  du,  wenn  traulich 

Ah,  how  sweet  you  are,  confiding 
All  your  thoughts  in  me,  your  lover, 

When,  with  noble  words  and  phrases, 
Your  impulsive  mind  runs  over. 

When  you  tell  me  that  your  thoughts  are 
Large  and  of  a  lofty  fashion; 

How  your  heart's  pride,  not  too  stubborn, 
Is  at  war  with  your  compassion. 

How  you'd  never  give  yourself  for 
Millions — no,  you  could  not  bear  it ! 

Ere  you  sold  yourself  for  money 

You  would  rather  die,  you  swear  it !  .  . 

And  I  look  at  you  and  listen, 
And  I  listen  till  you've  finished; 

Like  a  thoughtful,  silent  statue 
Whose  belief  is  undiminished. 


224  New  Poems 

4- 
Ich  halte  ihr  die  Augen  zu 

I  close  her  eyes,  and  keep  them  tight 
Whene'er  we  come  to  kiss; 

Her  laughter,  curious  and  bright, 
Asks  me  the  cause  of  this. 

i 

From  early  morn  till  late  at  night 

She  questions  why  it  is 
I  close  her  eyes  and  keep  them  tight 
Whene'er  we  come  to  kiss. 

I  do  not  even  know — not  quite, 
What  my  own  reason  is — 

I  close  her  eyes,  and  keep  them  tight 
Whene'er  we  come  to  kiss. 


5- 
Wenn  ich,  beseligt  von  schonen  Kussen 

When  in  your  arms  and  in  our  kisses 
I  find  Love's  sweet  and  happiest  season, 

My  Germany  you  must  never  mention — 
I  cannot  bear  it :  there  is  a  reason. 

Oh,  silence  your  chatter  on  anything  German ; 

You  must  not  plague  me  or  ask  me  to  share  it. 
Be  still  when  you  think  of  my  home  or  my 
kindred — 

There  is  a  reason :  I  cannot  bear  it. 


A  Miscellany  225 

The  oaks  are  green,  and  the  German  women 
Have  smiling  eyes  that  know  no  treason; 

They  speak  of  Love  and  Faith  and  Honor! 
I  cannot  bear  it — there  is  a  reason. 


6. 

Furchte  nichts,  geliebte  Seele 

Do  not  fear,  my  love;  no  danger 
Ever  will  approach  us  here; 

Fear  no  thief  or  any  stranger — 
See,  I  lock  the  door,  my  dear. 

Do  not  fear  the  wind  that's  quarreling, 
For  these  walls  are  strong  and  stout ; 

To  prevent  a  fire,  my  darling, — 
See,  I  blow  the  candle  out. 

Let  my  arms  fold  close  and  thickly 
Here  about  your  neck  and  all — 

One  can  catch  a  cold  so  quickly 
In  the  absence  of  a  shawl. 


7- 
Schaff  mich  nicht  ab,  wenn  auch  den  Durst 

Don't  send  me  off,  now  that  your  thirst 
Is  quenched,  and  all  seems  stale  to  you; 

Keep  me  a  short  three  months  or  more, 
Then  I'll  be  sated  too. 


226  New  Poems 

If  now  you  will  not  be  my  love 
Then  try  to  be  my  friend ; 

Friendship  is  something  that  may  come 
When  Love  comes  to  an  end. 


8. 
Dieser  Liebe  toller  Patching 

This  mad  carnival  of  loving, 
This  wild  orgy  of  the  flesh, 
Ends  at  last  and  we  two,  sobered, 
Look  at  one  another,  yawning. 

Emptied  the  inflaming  cup 
That  was  filled  with  sensuous  potions, 
Foaming,  almost  running  over — 
Emptied  is  the  flaming  cup. 

All  the  violins  are  silent 
That  impelled  our  feet  to  dancing, 
To  the  giddy  dance  of  passion — 
Silent  are  the  violins. 

All  the  lanterns  now  are  darkened 
That  once  poured  their  streaming  brilliance 
On  the  masquerades  and  mummers — 
Darkened  now  are  all  the  lanterns. 

And  to-morrow  is  Ash  Wednesday, 
And  I  put  a  cross  of  ashes 
On  your  lovely  brow,  and  tell  you :      »» 
"  Woman,  you  are  dust.    Remember !  " 


A  Miscellany  227 

HORTENSE 

i. 
Wir  standen  an  der  Strasseneck 

We  stood  upon  the  corner,  where, 

For  upwards  of  an  hour, 
We  spoke  with  soulful  tenderness 

Of  love's  transcending  power. 

Our  fervors  grew;  a  hundred  times 
Impassioned  oaths  we  made  there. 

We  stood  upon  the  corner — and, 
Alas,  my  love,  we  stayed  there! 

The  goddess  Opportunity, 

A  maid,  alert  and  sprightly, 
Came  by,  observed  us  standing  there  .  .  . 

And  passed  on,  laughing  lightly. 

2. 
In  meinen  Tagestraumen 

In  all  my  dreams  by  daylight 

And  nights  that  follow  after, 
My  spirit  throbs  and  rings  with 

Your  long  and  lovely  laughter. 

Remember  Montmorency? 

The  ass  you  dared  not  straddle? 
And  how,  into  the  thistles, 

You  fell  from  that  high  saddle? 


228  New  Poems 

The  donkey  stood  there  browsing 
Upon  the  thorns  thereafter — 

Always  will  I  remember 

Your  long  and  lovely  laughter. 

3- 
Steht  ein  Baum  im  schonen  Garten 

She  Speaks: 
Deep  within  a  lovely  garden 

There's  an  apple  on  a  tree; 
And,  about  the  boughs,  a  serpent 

Coils  itself  and  looks  at  me. 
I  can't  take  my  eyes  from  off  it, 

While  I  hear  its  gentle  hiss, 
While  its  eyes  burn  with  a  promise 

And  a  prophecy  of  bliss. 

The  Other  Speaks: 
'Tis  the  fruit  of  life  you  see  there, 

Taste  it,  do  not  let  it  fall ; 
Lest  you  throw  away  a  lifetime 

Without  knowing  life  at  all. 
Come,  my  darling,  my  sweet  pigeon, 

Taste  it,  taste  it,  do  not  fear; 
Follow  my  advice  and  thank  me. 

Trust  your  wise  old  aunt,  my  dear. 

4- 
Nicht  lange  tauschte  mich  das  Gliick 

The  words  you  keep  repeating 
How  vain  and  false  they  seem ; 

As  empty  as  the  fleeting 
Enchantments  of  a  dream. 


A  Miscellany  229 

For  Morning  comes  .  .  .  How  splendid, 

After  the  mists,  the  Sun! 
And  lo,  so  soon  is  ended 

What  scarcely  had  begun. 


YOLANDA  AND   MARIE 

i. 
In  welche  soil  ich  mich  verlieben 

Which  of  them  shall  I  fall  in  love  with? 

Both  of  them  make  my  senses  swirl. 
The  mother's  still  a  lovely  woman ; 

The  daughter's  an  enchanting  girl. 

In  those  white  arms  and  virgin  beauties 
My  trembling  heart  is  almost  caught ! 

But  thrilling  too  are  genial  glances 
That  understand  each  casual  thought. 

My  heart  resembles  our  gray  brother, 
Who  stands,  a  jackass  self-confessed, 

Between  two  bundles  of  his  fodder, 
Deciding  which  may  taste  the  best. 

2. 

For  der  Brust  die  trikoloren 

Flowers  on  your  breast — I  heed  'em ! 

For  the  tricolor  explains : 
"  This  proud  heart  exults  in  freedom, 

And  it  cannot  live  in  chains." 


230  New  Poems 

Queen  Marie,  though  I  adore  you, 
Listen  well,  though  you  are  crowned : 

Many  that  have  reigned  before  you 
Have  been  shamefully  dethroned! 


3- 
Jugend,  die  mir  taglich  schwindet 

Youth  is  leaving  me ;  but  daily 
By  new  courage  it's  replaced; 

And  my  bold  arm  circles  gaily 
Many  a  young  and  slender  waist. 

Some  were  shocked  and  others  pouted; 

Some  grew  wroth — but  none  denied. 
Flattery  has  always  routed 

Lovely  shame  and  stubborn  pride. 

Yet  the  best  is  gone.    Too  late,  I'd 
Give  my  soul  for  it,  in  truth. 

Can  it  be  the  blundering,  great-eyed, 
Sweet  stupidity  of  youth? 


EMMA 

i. 
Er  steht  so  starr  wie  ein  Baumstamm 

He  stands  as  stark  as  a  tree-trunk 
In  wind  and  frost  and  heat; 

His  arms  reach  up  to  the  heavens, 
Into  the  ground,  his  feet. 


A  Miscellany  231 

Thus  suffers  and  stands  Bagaritha, 

But  Brahma  will  end  his  woe ; 
Down  from  the  heights  of  heaven 

He  lets  the  Ganges  flow. 

But  I,  beloved,  must  suffer 

Worse  torments  and  in  vain.  .   .   . 

Your  eyes,  that  are  my  heaven, 
Shed  not  a  drop  of  rain. 

2. 
Emma,  sage  mir  die  Wahrheit 

Emma,  tell  me,  tell  me  truly : 

Was  it  Love  that  made  me  foolish? 
Or  is  Love  itself  the  simple 

Consequence  of  all  my  folly? 

Oh,  I'm  troubled,  darling  Emma, 
Troubled  by  my  foolish  passion, 
Troubled  by  my  passionate  folly — 

Most  of  all,  by  this  dilemma. 

3- 
Schon  mit  ihren  schlimmsten  Schatten 

Now  with  shadows,  dull  and  dreary, 

Evil  night  is  creeping  on; 
Now  our  souls  are  worn  and  weary, 

Weary-eyed  we  sit  and  yawn. 

You  grow  old  and  I  grow  older, 
And  our  Spring  has  lost  its  grace. 

You  grow  cold  and  I  grow  colder 
As  the  Winter  comes  apace. 


232  New  Poems 

Ah,  the  end  is  sad ;  the  tearless 
Sighs  when  Love  begins  to  pall. 

So,  when  Life  grows  cold  and  cheerless 
Let  Death  come  and  end  it  all. 


CATHERINE 

i. 
Ein  schoner  Stern  geht  auf  in  meiner  Nacht 

A  lovely  star  has  risen  in  my  night, 
A  star  of  smiling  comfort  and  delight, 
A  golden  promise  to  the  eye — 
O,  do  not  lie ! 

As  the  young  moon  draws  up  the  swelling  sea, 
My  soul  is  drawn  to  you,  and  wild  and  free 
It  bursts  into  a  passionate  cry — 
"O,  do  not  lie!" 


2. 

Du  liegst  mir  so  gern  im  Arme 

You  lie  in  my  arms  so  gladly, 
The  cries  of  the  world  seem  far. 

I  am  your  own  dear  Heaven, 
You  are  my  dearest  star. 

Below  us  the  foolish  people 
Quibble  and  quarrel  and  fight; 

They  shriek  and  bellow  and  argue —      >, 
And  all  of  them  are  right. 


A  Miscellany  233 

With  jingling  bells  on  their  fool's  caps, 
They  rise  from  their  stupid  beds ; 

Swinging  their  clubs  in  anger, 
They  crack  each  other's  heads. 

But  we,  we  two  are  lucky 

That  they  are  all  so  far — 
You  bury  within  its  heaven 

Your  head,  my  dearest  star! 


3- 
Ich  liebe  solche  weisse  Glieder 

I  love  this  white  and  slender  body, 

These  limbs  that  answer  Love's  caresses, 

Passionate  eyes,  and  forehead  covered 
With  heavy  waves  of  thick,  black  tresses. 

You  are  the  very  one  I've  searched  for 
In  many  lands,  in  every  weather. 

You  are  my  sort ;  you  understand  me ; 
As  equals  we  can  talk  together. 

In  me  you've  found  the  man  you  care  for. 

And,  for  a  while,  you'll  richly  pay  me 
With  kindness,  kisses  and  endearments — 

And  then,  as  usual,  you'll  betray  me. 


234  New  Poems 

KITTY 

i. 
Augen,  die  ich  liing st  vergessen 

Eyes  that  I  had  long  forgotten 
Snare  me  with  their  old  romances ; 

And  once  more  I  am  held  captive 
By  a  maiden's  tender  glances. 

Now  her  kisses  bear  me  backward 
To  the  time  we  lived  so  sweetly, 

When  the  days  were  spent  in  folly 
And  the  nights  in  love  completely. 


2. 
Mir  redet  ein  die  Eitelkeit 

Your  love  for  me  (so  says  my  pride) 

Is  of  a  godlike  fashion; 
But  deeper  wisdom  tells  me  that 

It's  only  your  compassion. 

You  give  me  more  than  is  my  due 
When  others  underrate  me; 

And  you  are  doubly  sweet  and  kind 
Because  they  wound  and  hate  me. 

ifou  are  so  fond,  you  are  so  fair, 
Your  goodness  overpowers ! 

Your  speech  is  music,  and  your  words 
More  perfumed  than  the  flower? 


A  Miscellany  235 

You  are  a  friendly  star  to  me, 

Shining  with  gentle  gladness; 
You  make  this  earthly  night  less  black, 

And  sweeten  all  my  sadness. 


3- 

Es  gldnzt  so  schb'n  die  sinkende  Sonne 

The  sun  is  fair  when  it  sinks  in  splendor, 
Yet  fairer  still  are  your  eyes  that  shine — 

Your  beaming  eyes  and  this  splendid  sunset 
Illumine  and  trouble  this  heart  of  mine. 

For  the  sunset  means  an  end  and  a  parting; 

Night  for  the  heart,  and  an  endless  woe. 
And  soon,  between  your  eyes  and  my  heart,  love, 

The  wide  and  darkening  sea  shall  flow. 


4- 
Er  ist  so  herzbeweglich 

Her  letter  leaves  me  breathless — 
She  says  (at  least  she  writes  me) 
Her  love,  that  so  delights  me, 

Is  timeless,  speechless,  deathless. 

She's  bored  and  dull  and  sickly 

And  never  will  recover 

Unless  .   .   .  "  You  must  come  over 
To  England,  yes — and  quickly !  " 


236  New  Poems 


5- 
Es  lauft  dahin  die  Barke 

Swift  as  a  deer,  my  bark 

Cuts  through  the  waters,  leaping 
Over  the  Thames,  and  sweeping 

Us  on  to  Regent's  Park. 

There  lives  my  darling  Kitty, 
Whose  love  is  never  shoddy ; 
Who  has  the  whitest  body 

In  West  End  or  the  City. 

She  smiles,  expecting  me  there, 
And  fills  the  water-kettle, 
And  wheels  the  tiny  settle 

Forward — and  we  have  tea  there! 


Das  Gluckj  das  gestern  mich  gekusst 

The  joy  that  kissed  me  yesterday 

Has  disappeared  already; 
Long  years  ago  I  found  it  so: 

True  love  is  never  steady. 

Oft  curiosity  has  drawn 

Some  lovely  ladies  toward  me; 

But  when  they  looked  deep  in  my  heart 
They  left,  and  then  abhorred  me. 


A  Miscellany  237 

Some  have  grown  pale  before  they  went, 
And  some  with  laughter  cleft  me; 

But  only  Kitty  really  cared — 
She  wept  before  she  left  me. 


JENNY 
Ich  bin  nun  fiinfunddreissig  Jahr'  alt 

My  years  now  number  five  and  thirty 
And  you  are  scarce  fifteen,  you  sigh  .   .  . 

Yet  Jenny,  when  I  look  upon  you, 

The  old  dream  wakes  that  will  not  die. 

In  eighteen-seventeen  a  maiden 

Became  my  sweetheart,  fond  and  true ; 

Strangely  like  yours  her  form  and  features, 
She  even  wore  her  hair  like  you. 

That  year,  before  I  left  for  college, 

I  said,  "  My  own,  it  will  not  be 
Long  till  I  come  back  home ; — be  faithful !  " 

"  You  are  my  world,"  she  answered  me. 

Three  years  I  toiled,  three  years  I  studied, 
And  then — it  was  the  first  of  May — 

In  Gottingen  the  tidings  reached  me: 
My  love  had  married  and  gone  away. 

It  was  the  first  of  May!    With  laughter 
The  Spring  came  dancing  through  the  world. 

Birds  sang;  and  in  the  quickening  sunshine 
Worms  stretched  themselves  and  buds  uncurled. 


238  New  Poems 

And  only  I  grew  pale  and  sickly, 
Dead  to  all  beauties  and  delights; 

And  only  God  knows  how  I  suffered 
And  tossed  throughout  those  wretched  nights. 

But  still  I  lived.     And  now  my  health  is 
Strong  as  an  oak  that  seeks  the  sky.  .   .   . 

Yet,  Jenny,  when  I  look  upon  you, 

The  old  dream  wakes  that  will  not  die. 


ABROAD 
i. 

0,  des  liebenswurd'gen  Dichters 

"  Oh  this  dear,  delightful  poet 

Whose  great  poems  charm  and  cheer  us ! 
How  we'd  love  to  make  him  happy 

If  we  only  had  him  near  us!  " 

While  these  dear,  delightful  ladies 
Promise  me  a  sweet  existence, 

I  am  in  a  foreign  country, 
Pining  safely  at  a  distance. 

What's  the  good  to  know,  up  North,  it's 
Fairer  in  the  South  than  this  is  ... 

And  a  hungry  heart  can't  feed  on 
Promissory,  verbal  kisses. 


A  Miscellany  239 


2. 

Du  bist  ja  heut  so  grambefangen 

To-day  you  are  so  plunged  in  sorrow, 
I've  never  seen  you  more  depressed. 

Your  tears  have  almost  made  a  furrow; 
The  sobs  still  shake  within  your  breast. 

Are  all  your  cheerless  thoughts  still  turning 
To  where  your  home  once  used  to  stand? 

Confess,  how  often  you've  been  yearning 
For  your  beloved  Fatherland. 

Do  you  still  think  of  her  who  sweetly, 
With  little  scoldings,  bound  you  fast? 

And  how  you  raged,  and  how  completely 
You  both  made  peace  and  kissed  at  last. 

Do  you  still  think  of  friends  who  sought  you, 
And  cherished  you  through  good  and  ill, 

When  storms  of  inner  turmoil  caught  you, 
Although  your  trembling  lips  were  still? 

And  are  you  thinking  of  your  mother 
And  sister,  dear  as  no  one  else?  .   .    . 

Ah  now,  I  think  that  memories  smother 
Your  pride,  and  all  your  hardness  melts. 

And  are  you  thinking  of  that  fated 
Old  garden  where  you  often  groped 

Among  the  boughs  and  dreams — and  waited 
And  trembled  anxiously — and  hoped.  .  .  . 


240  New  Poems 

The  hour  is  late.    The  night  is  shining 
With  snow  that  gleams  like  splintered  glass. 

And  I  must  cease  this  aimless  pining, 
And  dress  for  company.     Alas! 


3. 

Ich  hatte  einst  em  schones  Vaterland 

I  had,  long  since,  a  lovely  Fatherland   .    .    . 

The  oaks  would  gleam 
And  touch  the  skies;  the  violets  would  nod. 

It  was  a  dream. 

You'd  kiss  me,  and  in  German  you  would  say 

(Oh  joy  supreme — 
How  sweet  the  sound  of  it !)  "  Ich  Hebe  dich  "  .  .  . 

It  was  a  dream. 


TRAGEDY 

i. 
Entflieh  mit  mir  und  set  mem  Weib 

"  Oh  fly  with  me  and  be  my  love, 
Rest  on  my  heart,  and  never  rouse; 
And  in  strange  lands  my  heart  shall  be 
Thy  fatherland  and  father's  house. 

"  But  if  you  stay,  then  I  die  here, 
And  you  shall  weep  and  wring  your  hands ; 
And  even  in  your  father's  house 
You  shall  be  living  in  strange  lands." 


A  Miscellany  241 

2. 

Es  fiel  ein  Reif  in  der  Friihlingsnacht 
(A  genuine  folk-song;  heard  by  Heine  on  the  Rhine) 

The  hoar-frost  fell  on  a  night  in  Spring, 

It  fell  on  the  young  and  tender  blossoms  .  .  . 

And  they  have  withered  and  perished. 

A  boy  and  a  girl  were  once  in  love ; 
They  fled  from  the  house  into  the  world — 
They  told  neither  father  nor  mother. 

They  wandered  here  and  they  wandered  there — 
They  had  neither  luck  nor  a  star  for  guide  .  .  . 
And  they  have  withered  and  perished. 

3- 
Auf  ihrem  Grab  da  steht  eine  Linde 

Upon  their  grave  a  tree  stands  now 
With  winds  and  birds  in  every  bough ; 
And  in  the  green  place  under  it 
The  miller's  boy  and  his  sweetheart  sit. 

The  winds  grow  tender,  soft  and  clinging, 
And  softly  birds  begin  their  singing. 
The  prattling  sweethearts  grow  silent  and  sigh, 
And  fall  to  weeping — neither  knows  why. 


BALLADS 

(1839-1842) 


A  WOMAN 

Sie  hatten  sich  beide  so  herzlich  lieb 

They  loved  each  other  beyond  belief — 
She  was  a  strumpet,  he  was  a  thief ; 
Whenever  she  thought  of  his  tricks,  thereafter 
She'd  throw  herself  on  the  bed  with  laughter. 

The  day  was  spent  with  a  reckless  zest ; 
At  night  she  lay  upon  his  breast. 
So  when  they  took  him,  a  moment  after, 
She  watched  at  the  window — with  laughter. 

He  sent  word  pleading,  "  Oh  come  to  me, 
I  need  you,  need  you  bitterly, 
Yes,  here  and  in  the  hereafter." 
Her  little  head  shook  with  laughter. 

At  six  in  the  morning  they  swung  him  high ; 
At  seven  the  turf  on  his  grave  was  dry; 
At  eight,  however,  she  quaffed  her 
Red  wine  and  sang  with  laughter! 

SPRING   FESTIVAL 
Das  1st  des  Fruhlings  traurige  Lust! 

It  is  the  Springtime's  wild  unrest. 
Blossoming  maidens  everywhere 
Storm  through  the  woods  with  streaming 

hair; 

Echoing,  as  they  beat  their  breast, 
"Adonis— Adonis!" 
245 


246  New  Poems 

As  dusk  grows  thick,  the  torches  flare 
And  frantic  voices  fill  the  night. 
With  wails,  mad  laughter,  sudden  fright, 

They  seek  him,  shouting  everywhere : 
"Adonis— Adonis!" 

And  he,  that  boy  of  beauty,  lies 
Upon  the  ground,  so  strangely  dead ; 
His  blood  stains  all  the  flowers  red, 

And  every  wind,  lamenting,  cries : 
"Adonis— Adonis!" 


THE  ADJURATION 
De r  junge  Franziskaner  sitzt 

The  young  Franciscan  sits  alone 

Within  his  cloister-cell; 
He  reads  a  book  of  magic  called 

"  The  Mastery  of  Hell." 

And  as  the  midnight  hour  strikes, 

He  raves  and  calls  upon 
The  powers  of  the  Underworld, 

And  cries,  distraught  and  wan : 

"  For  this  one  night,  you  spirits,  raise 
From  all  the  hosts  that  died 

The  fairest  woman — give  her  life, 
And  place  her  at  my  side." 

He  breathes  the  aweful,  secret  word, 
And,  answering  his  commands, 

In  white  and  drooping  cerements 
The  perished  Beauty  stands. 


Ballads 

Her  face  is  sad.    With  frightened  sighs 
Her  poor,  cold  breasts  are  stirred/ 

She  sits  beside  the  startled  monk. 
They  stare — without  a  word  .    . 


ANNO    1829 
Dass  ich  bequem  verbluten  kann 

Give  me  a  nobler,  wider  field, 
Where  I,  at  least,  can  bleed  to  death ! 

Oh  do  not  let  me  stifle  here 

Among  these  hucksters.    Give  me  breath ! 

They  eat  and  drink  with  greedy  haste, 
Dull  and  complacent  as  the  mole; 

Their  generosity  is  large — 

As  large  as,  say,  the  poor-box  hole. 

Cigar  in  mouth  they  stroll  along, 

Their  hands  are  fat  with  many  a  gem ; 

Their  stomachs  are  both  huge  and  strong — 
But  who  could  ever  stomach  them ! 

They  deal  in  spices,  but  the  air 
Is  filled,  alas,  with  something  else ; 

Even  their  souls  pollute  the  streets 
And  foul  them  with  their  fishy  smells. 

If  they  but  had  some  human  vice, 
Some  lust  too  terrible  to  see — 

But  not  these  flabby  virtues,  not 
This  cheap  and  smug  morality ! 


248  New  Poems 

Ye  clouds  above,  take  me  away, 
To  Africa  or  furthest  North. 

Even  to  Pomerania ;  pray, 

Carry  me  with  you — bear  me  forth ! 

Take  me  away  .  .  .  They  do  not  hear. 

The  clouds  are  wise ;  they  never  heed. 
For  when  they  see  this  town  they  fly — 

And  anxiously  increase  their  speed. 


PSYCHE 
In  der  Hand  die  kleine  Lampe 

With  a  small  lamp  in  her  fingers 
And  a  great  glow  in  her  breast, 

Psyche  creeps  into  the  chamber 
Where  the  Sleeper  is  at  rest. 

She  grows  frightened  and  she  blushes 
As  she  sees  his  beauty  bare — 

While  the  god  of  love  awakens, 
And  his  pinions  beat  the  air  ... 

Eighteen  hundred  years  of  penance ! 

She,  poor  soul,  still  fasts  with  awe ; 
Almost  dead,  because  she  came  where 

Love  lay  naked — and  she  saw ! 


Ballads  249 


THE   UNKNOWN 
Meiner  goldgelockten  Schonen 

My  adored  and  golden-haired  one, 
Every  day  I'm  sure  to  meet  her, 
When  beneath  the  chestnut  branches 
In  the  Tuileries  she  wanders. 

Every  day  she  comes  and  walks  there 
With  two  old  and  awful  ladies — 
Are  they  aunts  ?    Or  are  they  dragons  ? 
Or  dragoons  in  skirts  and  flounces  ? 

No  one  even  seems  to  know  her. 
I  have  asked  friends  and  relations; 
But  I  ask  in  vain.    I  question 
While  I  almost  die  of  longing. 

Yes,  I'm  frightened  by  the  grimness 
Of  her  two  mustached  companions; 
And  I'm  even  more  upset  by 
This,  my  heart's  unusual  beating. 

I  have  never  dared  a  whisper 
Or  a  sigh  whene'er  I  passed  her, 
I  have  scarcely  dared  a  burning 
Glance  to  tell  her  of  my  passion. 

But  to-day  I  have  discovered 
What  her  name  is.    It  is  Laura ; 
Like  the  sweet,  Provengal  maiden 
Worshiped  by  the  famous  poet. 


250  New  Poems 

She  is  Laura !    I'm  as  great  now 
As  was  Petrarch  when  he  chanted 
And  extolled  his  lovely  lady 
In  those  canzonets  and  sonnets. 

She  is  Laura!     Yes,  like  Petrarch, 
I  can  hold  platonic  riots 
On  this  name,  and  clasp  its  beauty — 
He  himself  did  nothing  more. 


AWAY! 

Der  Tag  ist  in  die  Nacht  verliebt 

The  Day  is  enamored  of  Night, 
And  Spring  is  entranced  by  Winter, 
Life  is  in  love  with  Death, 
And  you — are  in  love  with  me! 

You  love  me — look,  and  even  now 
Gray  shadows  seem  to  fold  you; 
All  of  your  blossoming  fades 
And  your  white  soul  lies  bleeding. 

Oh  shrink  from  me,  and  only  love 
The  butterflies  light-hearted, 
That  sport  among  the  golden  beams  .  .  . 
Oh  shrink  from  me — and  all  things  bitter. 


Ballads  251 

A  MEETING 
Wohl  unter  der  Linde  erklingt  die  Musik 

Under  the  linden  the  music  is  gay, 
The  couples  are  gossiping  loudly ; 

And  two  are  dancing  whom  nobody  knows, 
They  carry  themselves  so  proudly. 

Now  here,  now  there,  they  glide  and  sway 

In  wave-like  measures  beguiling. 
They  bow  to  each  other,  and,  as  they  nod, 

She  whispers,  gently  smiling: 

"  A  water-pink  is  hanging  from 
Your  cap,  my  fair  young  dancer; 

It  only  grows  in  the  depths  of  the  sea — 
You  are  no  mortal  man,  sir. 

"  You  are  a  merman,  and  to  lure 
These  village  maids  your  wish  is. 

I  knew  you  at  once  by  your  watery  eyes 
And  your  teeth  as  sharp  as  the  fishes'." 

Now  here,  now  there,  they  glide  and  sway 

In  wave-like  measures  beguiling. 
They  bow  to  each  other,  and,  as  they  nod, 

He  answers,  gently  smiling: 

"  My  lovely  lady,  tell  me  why 

Your  hand's  so  cold  and  shiny? 
And  why  is  the  border  of  your  gown 

So  damp  and  draggled  and  briny  ? 


252  New  Poems 

"  I  knew  you  at  once  by  your  watery  eyes, 
And  your  bow  so  mocking  and  tricksy — 

You  are  never  a  child  of  men,  my  dear; 
You  are  my  cousin,  the  Nixie." 

The  riddles  are  silent,  the  dancing  is  done ; 

They  part  with  a  ripple  of  laughter. 
They  know  each  other  too  well  and  will  try 

To  avoid  such  a  meeting  hereafter. 


THE   FAITHLESS   LOUISA 
Die  ungetreue  Luise 

The  fair  and  faithless  Louisa 

Returned  and,  lightly  flitting, 
She  came  to  where  the  lamps  burned  low 

And  Ulrich  still  was  sitting. 

She  cozened  and  she  kissed  him  ; 

She  smiled,  and  tried  to  soften 
His  grief  and  said,  "  How  you  have  changed- 

You  used  to  laugh  so  often ! " 

She  cozened  and  she  kissed  him 

Where  he  lay,  sad  and  sunken  .    .    . 

"  My  God,  your  hands  are  cold  as  ice, 
And  all  the  flesh  is  shrunken !  " 

She  cozened  and  she  kissed  him ; 

Tears  wet  her  lovely  lashes  .    .    . 
"  My  God,  your  hair  that  was  so  black 

Is  now  as  gray  as  ashes !  " 


Ballads  253 


And  the  poor  Ulrich  sat  there, 
Silent  and  old  and  broken; 

He  kissed  his  faithless  sweetheart, 
And  not  a  word  was  spoken. 


POEMS   FOR  THE  TIMES 

(1839-1846) 


DOCTRINE 

Schlage  die  Trommel  und  fiirchte  dich  nicht 

Beat  on  the  drum  and  blow  the  fife 
And  kiss  the  vivandiere,  my  boy. 

Fear  nothing — that's  the  whole  of  life; 
Its  deepest  truth,  its  soundest  joy. 

Beat  reveille,  and  with  a  blast 

Arouse  all  men  to  valiant  strife. 
Waken  the  world;  and  then,  at  last, 

March  on  ...  That  is  the  whole  of  life. 

This  is  Philosophy;  this  is  Truth; 

This  is  the  burning  source  of  joy! 
I've  borne  this  wisdom  from  my  youth, 

For  I,  too,  was  a  drummer-boy. 

A  WARNING 

Solche  Bucher  lasst  du  drucken! 

You  will  print  such  books  as  these? 

Then  you're  lost,  my  friend,  that's  certain 
If  you  wish  for  gold  and  honor, 

Write  more  humbly — bend  your  knees ! 

Aye,  you  must  have  lost  your  senses, 
Thus  to  speak  before  the  people, 
Thus  to  dare  to  talk  of  preachers 

And  of  potentates  and  princes! 
257 


258  New  Poems 

Friend,  you're  doomed,  so  it  appears : 
For  the  princes  have  long  arms, 
And  the  preachers  have  long  tongues, 

— And  the  masses  have  long  ears ! 


DEGENERATION 

Hat  die  Natur  sich  auch  verschlechtert 

Has  even  Nature  altered  badly  ? 

And  does  she  ape  what  we  began? 
It  seems  to  me  the  beasts  and  flowers 

Deceive  as  readily  as  man. 

The  lily's  purity  I  question ; 

She  yields  to  love  and  seeks  to  stay 
The  butterfly  that  flits  above  her 

And  bears  her  chastity  away. 

I  even  doubt  the  modest  virtue 
Of  violets.    They  have  no  shame, 

But  fling  their  scent  like  any  wanton 
And  thirst  in  secret  after  fame. 

I  half  suspect  the  song-bird's  ardor 
Expresses  more  than  he  can  mean ; 

He  overdoes  his  trills  and  raptures— 
And  does  them  only  by  routine. 

The  truth  has  disappeared,  I  fancy, 
And  simple  faith  has  left  us,  too. 

Only  the  dogs  still  fawn  around  us, 
And  even  they  do  not  seem  true. 


Poems  for  the  Times  259 

HENRY 

Auf  dem  Schlosshof  zu  Canossa 

In  the  courtyard  at  Canossa 
Stands  the  German  Emperor  Henry, 
Barefoot  in  his  shirt  of  penance, 
And  the  night  is  cold  and  rainy. 

From  the  window  two  dim  figures 
Gaze  upon  him,  and  the  moonlight 
Gleams  on  Gregory,  bald-headed, 
And  the  white  breast  of  Matilda. 

And  the  pale-lipped  Emperor  Henry 
Prays  his  pious  paternoster; 
But  within  his  kingly  heart  he 
Rends  himself  and  cries  in  anguish : 

"  Far  in  my  own  German  country 
High  and  mighty  hills  are  towering; 
And  within  their  depths,  the  iron 
For  the  battle-axe  is  growing. 

"  Far  in  my  own  German  country 
High  and  mighty  oaks  are  towering; 
And  in  some  great  trunk,  the  handle 
For  the  battle-axe  is  growing. 

"  Germany,  my  own  beloved, 
You  will  bear  the  mighty  hero 
Who  will  wield  the  axe  and  swiftly 
Crush  the  serpent  that  torments  me !  " 


260  New  Poems 

TO  GEORGE   HERWEGH 

Herwegh,  du  eiserne  Lerche 

Herwegh,  you  lark  of  iron ! 

You  rise  on  a  swift  and  jubilant  wing 

Toward  sunlight  and  freedom,  Liberty's 
lover ! 

Is  the  long  winter  really  over? 
Is  Germany  really  awake  to  the  spring? 

Herwegh,  you  lark  of  iron, 
Because  your  passionate  flight  is  long, 

You  have  forgotten  earth's  condition. 

The  Spring  you  hail  with  such  a  vision 
Has  blossomed  only  in  your  song. 

A  TOPSY-TURVY  WORLD 

Das  ist  ja  die  verkehrte  Welt 

This  is  a  topsy-turvy  world ; 

Men  on  their  heads  are  walking! 
The  woodcocks,  by  the  dozen,  shoot 

The  hunters  that  are  stalking. 

The  calves  are  roasting  all  the  cooks ; 

And  men  are  driven  by  horses ; 
On  knowledge,  light  and  liberty 

The  catholic  owl  discourses. 

The  herring  is  a  sans-culotte ; 

The  truth  Bettina's  saying; 
And  Sophocles  upon  our  stage 

A  Puss-in-boots  is  playing. 


Poems  for  the  Times  261 

For  German  heroes  apes  have  built 

A  Pantheon  enormous! 
Massmann  at  last  has  combed  his  hair, 

The  German  prints  inform  us. 

The  German  bears  are  atheists, 

All  former  faiths  rejecting; 
While  the  French  parrots  have  become 

Good  Christians,  self-respecting. 

The  Moniteur  of  Uckermark 
To  madness  seems  to  drive  one : 

A  dead  man  there  has  dared  to  write 
An  epitaph  on  a  live  one. 

Let  us  not  swim  against  the  stream; 

'Twould  be  no  use  whatever. 
So  let  us  climb  the  hill  and  cry 

"  May  the  King  live  forever! " 


GERMANY 

Deutschland  ist  noch  kleines  Kind 

Germany's  still  a  little  child. 

The  sun's  his  nurse;  she'll  feed  him 
No  soothing  milk  to  make  him  strong, 

But  the  wild  fires  of  freedom. 

On  such  a  diet  one  grows  fast ; 

The  blood  will  boil  and  lurch  in 
The  veins.    You  neighbors,  have  a  care, 

Before  you  plague  this  urchin! 


262  New  Poems 

He  is  a  clumsy  little  giant; 

He'll  tear  up  oaks,  and  well  he 
Will  use  them  till  your  backs  are  sore, 

And  pound  you  to  a  jelly. 

He  is  like  Siegfried,  fearless  youth, 
Who  did  such  deeds  of  wonder; 

Who  forged  his  sword,  and  when  he  smote 
The  anvil  flew  asunder! 


Yes,  Siegfried,  you  shall  slay  the  grim 
Dragon  while  thanks  are  given. 

Huzzah !    How  radiantly  your  nurse 
Will  laugh  and  shine  through  heaven. 

Yours  shall  be  all  the  hoard,  when  you 
Have  slain  the  monster  horrid. 

Huzzah !    How  bright  the  king's  own  crown 
Will  blaze  upon  your  forehead ! 


ONLY  WAIT! 

Weil  ich  so  ganz  vorziiglich  blitze 

What !    Think  you  that  my  flashes  show  me 

Only  in  lightnings  to  excel? 
Believe  me,  friends,  you  do  not  know  me — 

For  I  can  thunder  quite  as  well. 

In  sorrow  you  shall  learn  your  error; 

My  voice  shall  grow,  and  in  amaze 
Your  eyes  and  ears  shall  feel  the  terror, 

The  thundering  word,  the  stormy  blaze. 


Poems  for  the  Times  263 

Oaks  shall  be  rent ;  the  Word  shall  shatter  .  .  . 

Yea,  on  that  fiery  day,  the  crown, 
Even  the  palace-walls  shall  totter, 

And  domes  and  spires  come  crashing  down ! 


THE   WEAVERS 

Im  duster n  Auge  keine  Thrane 

From  darkened  eyes  no  tears  are  falling; 
Gnashing  our  teeth,  we  sit  here  calling: 
"  Germany,  listen,  ere  we  disperse, 
We  weave  your  shroud  with  a  triple  curse — 
We  weave,  we  are  weaving! 

"  A  curse  to  the  false  god  that  we  prayed  to, 
And  worshiped  in  spite  of  all,  and  obeyed,  too. 
We  waited  and  hoped  and  suffered  in  vain ; 
He  laughed  at  us,  sneering,  for  all  of  our  pain — 
We  weave,  we  are  weaving! 

"  A  curse  to  the  king,  and  a  curse  to  his  coffin, 
The  rich  man's  king  whom  our  plight  could  not  soften; 
Who  took  our  last  penny  by  taxes  and  cheats, 
And  let  us  be  shot  like  the  dogs  in  the  streets— 
We  weave,  we  are  weaving! 

"  A  curse  to  the  Fatherland,  whose  face  is 
Covered  with  lies  and  foul  disgraces ; 
Where  the  bud  is  crushed  as  it  leaves  the  seed, 
And  the  worm  grows  fat  on  corruption  and  greed — 
We  weave,  we  are  weaving! 


264  New  Poems 

"  The  shuttle  flies  in  the  creaking  loom ; 
And  night  and  day  we  weave  your  doom — 
Old  Germany,  listen,  ere  we  disperse 
We  weave  your  shroud  with  a  triple  curse. 
We  weave — we  are  weaving!" 


FOUR  SONGS 

Es  erklingt  wie  Liebestone 

Through  my  heart  the  most  beguiling 
Bits  of  love-songs  rise  and  flit. 

And  I  think  the  little,  smiling 
Love-God  has  a  hand  in  it. 

In  my  heart  he's  the  director, 
Calling  forth  its  dearest  themes; 

And  the  music,  sweet  as  nectar, 
Fills  and  colors  all  my  dreams. 

Was  bedeuten  gelbe  Rosen 

Yellow  roses  as  an  offering — 

And  they  mean  ?  .   .   .  A  thorny  path ; 

Love  that  is  at  war  with  wrath, 
And  persists,  in  spite  of  suffering. 


Poems  for  the  Times  265 

Wir  mussen  zugleich  uns  betruben 

We  laugh  and  we  are  troubled 

Whene'er  our  fingers  touch, 
That  hearts  can  love  so  greatly 

And  minds  can  doubt  so  much. 

Do  you  not  feel,  my  darling, 

My  heart  beat  through  the  gloom? 

She  nods  her  head,  and  murmurs, 
"  It  beats — God  knows  for  whom !  " 

Das  macht  den  Menschen  gliicklich 

It  makes  a  man  feel  happy, 

It  drains  him  to  the  dregs, 
When  he  has  three  fair  sweethearts 

And  just  one  pair  of  legs. 

I  visit  the  first  in  the  morning; 

I  seek  the  second  at  night; 
The  third  does  not  wait,  but  comes  to  me 

At  noon  in  a  blaze  of  light. 

Farewell,  my  three  fair  sweethearts, 

Two  legs  are  all  I've  got; 
I'll  go  and  make  love  to  Nature 

In  some  more  quiet  spot. 


ROMANCERO 


(LAMENTATIONS,   LAZARUS   AND    LAST 
POEMS) 

(1846-1855) 


Wenn  man  an  dir  Verrat  geiibt 

When  all  men  have  betrayed  your  trust, 

Make  Faith  your  one  desire; 
When  they  have  dragged  your  soul  in  dust, 

Take  up  the  lyre! 

In  what  a  bright,  heroic  mood 

The  radiant  chords  are  ringing. 
The  scornful  heart,  the  angry  blood 

Leap  into  singing! 

PROLOG 

Das  Gliick  ist  eine  leichte  Dirne 

Good-Fortune  is  a  giddy  maid, 
Fickle  and  restless  as  a  fawn; 

She  smoothes  your  hair ;  and  then  the  jade 
Kisses  you  quickly,  and  is  gone. 

But  Madam  Sorrow  scorns  all  this, 
She  shows  no  eagerness  for  flitting; 

But  with  a  long  and  fervent  kiss 

Sits  by  your  bed — and  brings  her  knitting. 

THE   ASRA 

Tdglich  ging  die  wunderschone 

Daily  came  the  lone  and  lovely 
Sultan's  daughter,  slowly  wandering 
In  the  evening  to  the  fountain 
Where  the  plashing  waters  whitened. 
269 


270  New  Poems 

Daily  stood  the  youthful  captive 
In  the  evening  by  the  fountain 
Where  the  plashing  waters  whitened — 
Daily  growing  pale  and  paler  .   .   . 

Till  one  dusk  the  strolling  Princess 
Stopped  and  spoke  a  hurried  sentence : 
"  Tell  me  now  thy  name,  and  tell  me 
Of  thy  country  and  thy  kindred." 

And  the  slave  replied,  "  My  name  is 
Mohamet ;  I  come  from  Yemen. 
And  my  people  are  the  Asra, 
Who,  whene'er  they  love,  must  perish/ 


From  the  PRELUDE  (to  "  Vitzliputzli  ") : 
Dieses  ist  Amerika! 

This  is  America! 
This  is  the  new  world! 
Not  the  present  European 
Wasted  and  withering  sphere. 

This  is  the  new  world, 
As  it  was  when  Columbus 
Drew  it  first  from  the  ocean. 
Radiant  with  its  freshening  bath; 

Still  dripping  its  watery  pearls, 
In  showers  and  spurts  of  color 
As  the  light  of  the  sun  kisses  them  .  . 
How  strong  and  healthy  is  this  world 


Romancero  271 

This  is  no  graveyard  of  Romance; 
This  is  no  pile  of  ruins, 
Of  fossilized  wigs  and  symbols 
Or  stale  and  musty  Tradition ! 


FAREWELL 

Hatte  wie  ein  Pelikan 

Like  a  pelican  I  fed  you 

With  my  blood ;  you  ate  and  drank  me. 
Now  you  give  me  gall  and  wormwood — 

What  a  pleasant  way  to  thank  me ! 

It  was  never  meant  in  malice, 
And  your  eyes  were  never  fretful ; 

Nothing  creased  that  placid  forehead — 
You  were  just  a  bit  forgetful. 

So  good-bye ;  and,  though  I  weep,  you 
Will  not  care  or  wonder  why. 

Smile  farewell — and  may  God  keep  you 
Just  a  lovely  butterfly. 

MYTHOLOGY 

Ja,  Europa  ist  erlegen 

Yes,  Europa  is  forgiven 

And  Danae  too.     What  power 
Could  subdue  a  golden  shower 

Or  withstand  a  bull  from  heaven? 


272  New  Poems 

Semele  was  not  much  wiser 

When  she  lost  her  precious  honor  ; 
For  it  never  dawned  upon  her 

That  a  cloud  could  compromise  her. 

But  our  scorn  arises  quicker 

When  we  read  the  tale  of  Leda — 
Only  such  a  goose  would  heed  a 

Silly  swan  and  let  it  trick  her! 

SECURITY 
Liebe  sprach  zum  Gott  der  Lieder 

Love  said  to  the  God  of  Music, 

"  Times  are  changed.    I'd  be  a  dumb  thing 

If  I  gave  myself  without  a 

Guarantee  or  pledge  of  something." 

"Yes,"  Apollo  answered  laughing, 

"  Times  are  changed  indeed.    You  talk  like 

Some  old  usurer  demanding 
Pledges,  cynical  and  hawk-like. 

"  Well,  I  only  have  my  lyre, 

But  it's  gold,  depend  upon  it. 
Tell  me,  darling,  just  how  many 

Kisses  would  you  lend  me  on  it  ?  " 

AUTO-DA-Ffc 
Welke  Veilchen,  staub'ge  Locken 

Faded  violets,  dusty  tresses, 

And  a  band  that  once  was  blue; 

Things  that  I  had  long  forgotten, 
Ribbons,  crumpled  billets-doux —        t 


Romancero  273 

I  have  dropped  them,  smiling  sadly, 
In  the  flames  and  watch  them  where 

Countless  joys  and  countless  sorrows 
Sparkle  in  the  ruins  there. 

Up  the  flue  go  love  and  lovers, 

Frail  and  foolish  oaths — alas ! 
And  the  little  Cupid  chuckles 

As  he  sees  them  burn  and  pass. 

And  I  sit  here  by  the  ruins, 

Dreaming  in  the  lessening  light; 

While  the  sparks  among  the  ashes 
Faintly  glow  .   .   .  Farewell  .   .   . 
Good  Night. 

MORPHINE 
Gross  ist  die  Ahnlichkeit  der  belden  schonen 

Great  is  the  similarity  between 
These  two  fair  figures,  although  one  appears 
Much  paler  than  the  other,  far  more  calm ; 
Fairer  and  nobler  even,  I  might  say, 
Than  his  companion,  in  whose  arms 
I  lay  so  warmly.     How  divine  and  soft 
Were  all  his  smiles,  and  what  a  look  was  his ! 
It  must  have  been  the  poppy-wreath  he  wore 
About  his  brows  that  touched  my  throbbing  head 
And  with  its  magic  perfume  soothed  all  pain 
And  sorrow  in  my  soul  .  .  .  But  such  sweet  balm 
Lasts  but  a  little  while ;  I  can  be  cured 
Completely  only  when  the  other  one, 
The  grave  and  paler  brother,  drops  his  torch. 
For  Sleep  is  good,  but  Death  is  better  still — 
The  best  is  never  torfcerborn  at  all. 


274  New  Poems 

SOLOMON 

Verstummt  sind  Pauken,  Posaunen  und  Zinken 

The  trumpets  and  drums  are  no  longer  sounded, 

Hushed  is  the  dulcimer  and  flute. 

King  Solomon  sleeps,  and  the  night  is  mute. 
He  sleeps — by  twelve  thousand  angels  surrounded. 

They  guard  his  dreams  from  clamor  and  cumber. 
And  should  he  even  knit  his  brow 
Twelve  thousand  arms  would  be  lifted  now, 

Twelve  thousand  swords  would  flash  through  his 
slumber. 

But  gently  now  the  swords  are  lying 

Within  each  scabbard.    The  night-winds  soothe 
The  dreamer's  dreams  and  his  brow  is  smooth ; 

Only  his  lips  are  restless,  sighing: 

"  Oh  Shulamite !  all  people  cherish 

My  favor  and  bring  me  tributes  and  sing; 
I  am  both  Judah's  and  Israel's  king — 

But,  lest  you  love  me,  I  wither  and  perish.'' 


Wie  langsam  kriechet  sie  dahin 

How  slowly  Time,  the  frightful  snail, 
Crawls  to  the  corner  that  I  lie  in ; 

While  I,  who  cannot  move  at  all,  s 

Watch  from  the  place  that  I  must  die  in. 


Romancero  275 

Here  in  my  darkened  cell  no  hope 
Enters  and  breaks  the  gloom  asunder ; 

I  know  I  shall  not  leave  this  room 
Except  for  one  that's  six  feet  under. 

Perhaps  I  have  been  dead  some  time ; 

Perhaps  my  bright  and  whirling  fancies 
Are  only  ghosts  that,  in  my  head, 

Keep  up  their  wild,  nocturnal  dances. 

They  well  might  be  a  pack  of  ghosts, 
Some  sort  of  pagan  gods  or  devils; 

And  a  dead  poet's  skull  is  just 

The  place  they'd  choose  to  have  their 
revels ! 

Those  orgies,  furious  and  sweet, 

Come  suddenly,  without  a  warning  .  .  . 

And  then  the  poet's  cold,  dead  hand 
Attempts  to  write  them  down  next 
morning. 


Mitteralterliche  Roheit 

Medievalism's  crudeness 
Has  been  softened  by  the  fine  arts. 
And  our  modern  culture's  climax 
Is,  I'm  sure,  the  grand  piano. 

Railways  also  are  a  splendid 
Influence  on  our  way  of  living; 
For  they  lighten  half  the  sorrow 
When  we  part  from  our  relations. 


276  New  Poems 

JTis  a  pity  the  consumption 
Of  my  spine  makes  it  seem  doubtful 
That  I  shall  remain  much  longer 
In  a  world  so  swift  with  progress. 


EPILOG 
Unser  Grab  erwarmt  der  Ruhm 

"  Glory  warms  us  in  the  grave." 
Nonsense!     That's  a  silly  stave! 
There's  a  better  warmth  than  this 
Found  in  any  cow-girl's  kiss, 
Though  she  be  a  thick-lipped  flirt, 
Though  she  reek  of  dung  and  dirt. 
And  a  better  warmth,  I'm  thinking, 
Every  man  has  found  in  drinking ; 
Lapping  wine,  the  lucky  dog, 
Punch  or  even  common  grog ; 
Sprawling  over  filthy  benches 
With  the  vilest  thieves  and  wenches 
That  have  yet  deserved  a  hanging; 
Yes,  but — living  and  haranguing — 
Worth  more  envy,  every  one, 
Than  fair  Thetis'  noble  son! 

Old  Pelides  spoke  the  truth  : 
Richer  is  the  poorest  youth 
Who's  alive,  than  lords  and  ladies 
And  the  greatest  kings  in  Hades. 
Praised  in  many  a  classic  tome,  or 
All  the  heroes  sung  by  Homer ! 


Romancero  277 

WHERE? 
Wo  wird  einst  des  Wandermuden 

Where  shall  I,  the  wander-wearied, 
Find  my  haven  and  my  shrine? 

Under  palms  will  I  be  buried? 
Under  lindens  on  the  Rhine? 

Shall  I  lie  in  desert  reaches, 
Buried  by  a  stranger's  hand  ? 

Or  upon  the  well-loved  beaches, 
Covered  by  the  friendly  sand? 

Well,  what  matter !    God  has  given 
Wider  spaces  there  than  here. 

And  the  stars  that  swing  in  heaven 
Shall  be  lamps  above  my  bier. 

ENFANT  PERDU 
Verlorner  Posten  in  dem  Freiheitskriege 

For  more  than  thirty  years  I've  been  defending, 
In  Freedom's  struggle,  many  a  desperate  post. 

I  knew  the  fight  was  hopeless,  never-ending; 
But  still  I  fought,  wounded  and  battle-tossed. 

Waking  through  nights  and  days,  no  peaceful  slumbers 
Were  mine  while  all  the  others  slept  their  fill. 

(The  mighty  snoring  of  these  valiant  numbers 
Kept  me  awake  when  I  was  tired  or  ill.) 


278  New  Poems 

In  those  long  nights  I  have  been  often  frightened 
(For  only  fools  are  not  afraid  of  fear), 

But  I  would  whistle  till  the  terror  lightened, 
And  sing  my  mocking  rhymes  to  give  me  cheer. 

Yes,  I  have  stood,  my  musket  primed  and  ready, 
On  guard;  and  when  some  rascal  raised  his  head 

I  took  good  aim  (my  arm  was  always  steady) 
And  let  him  have  a  bellyful  of  lead. 

And  yet  those  knaves — I  may  as  well  admit  it — 
Could  shoot  quite  well;  the  rascals  often  chose 

A  splendid  mark,  and,  what  is  more,  they  hit  it ! 
My  wounds  are  gaping  .  .  .  and  my  blood  still  flows. 

One  post  is  vacant !    As  a  bloody  token 

I  wear  my  wounds  .   .   .  another  takes  my  part. 

But,  though  I  fall,  my  sword  is  still  unbroken; 
The  only  thing  that's  broken  is  my  heart. 


Romancero  279 

HYMN 

Ich  bin  das  Schwert,  ich  bin  die  Flamme 
I  am  the  Sword,  I  am  the  Flame. 

I  have  lit  you  through  the  darkness;  and 
when  the  battle  began,  I  fought  in  the  first 
rank  and  led  you  on.  ... 

Round  about  me  lie  the  bodies  of  my 
friends,  but  we  have  triumphed.  We  have 
triumphed — but  round  about  me  lie  the  bodies 
of  my  friends.  Amid  the  jubilant  songs  of 
victory  the  dirge  of  the  funeral  is  heard. 
But  we  have  neither  time  for  rejoicing  nor 
for  sorrow.  The  trumpets  are  sounding 
again — there  shall  be  new  and  holier  bat- 
tles. .  .  . 

I  am  the  Sword,  I  am  the  Flame! 


ALPHABETICAL  INDEX 

OF 
FIRST  LINES  IN   GERMAN 


PACK 

Ach,  die  Augen  sind  es  wieder 137 

Ach,  wenn  ich  nur  der  Schemel  war' 62 

Ach,  wie  schon  bist  du,  wenn  traulich 223 

Allnachtlich  im  Traume  seh'  ich  dich 76 

Als  ich  auf  der  Reise  zufallig 91 

Als  sie  mich  umschlang  mit  zartlichem  Pressen 134 

Am  blassen  Meeresstrande 174 

Am  Fenster  stand  die  Mutter 150 

Am   f ernen  Horizonte 99 

Am  Kreuzweg  wird  begraben 80 

Am  leuchtenden  Sommermorgen 70 

Am  Meer,  am  wiisten,  nachtlichen  Meer 194 

An  deine  schneeweisse   Schulter 135 

An  dem  stillen  Meeresstrande 217 

Anfangs  wollt'  ich  fast  verzagen 25 

Auf  dem  Berge  steht  die  Hiitte 158 

Auf  dem  Schlosshof  zu  Canossa 259 

Auf  den   Wallen   Salamankas 139 

Auf  den  Wolken  ruht  der  Mond 94 

Auf  diesen  Felsen  bauen  wir 218 

Auf  Fliigeln  des  Gesanges 48 

Auf  ihrem  Grab  da  steht  eine  Linde 241 

Augen,  die  ich  langst  vergessen 234 

Aus  alten  Marchen  winkt  es 68 

Aus  meinen  grossen  Schmerzen 63 

Aus  meinen  Thranen  spriessen 45 

Auf  meiner  Herzliebsten  Augelein 51 

Berg'  und  Burgen  schaun  herunter 25 

Bist  du  wirklich  mir  so  feindlich 136 

Da  droben  auf  jenem  Berge 98 

Dammernd  leigt  der  Sommerabend 141 

Das  Fraulein  stand  am  Meere 219 

Das  Gliick,  das  gestern  mich  gekiisst 236 

Das  Gliick  ist  eine  leichte  Dime 269 

281 


282  Index 

PAGE 

Das  ist  des  Friihlings  traurige  Lust ! 245 

Das  ist  ja  die  verkehrte  Welt 260 

Das  Herz  ist  mir  bedriickt,  und  sehnlich 113 

Das  ist  der  alte  Marchenwald 3 

Das  ist  ein  Brausen  und  Heulen 76 

Das  ist  ein  Floten  und  Geigen 54 

Das  ist  ein  schlechtes  Wetter 107 

Das  macht  den  Menschen  gliicklich 265 

Das  Meer  erglanzte  weit  hinaus 97 

Das  Meer  erstrahlt  im  Sonnenschein 221 

Das  Meer  hat  seine  Perlen 181 

Dass  du  mich  liebst,  das  wusst'  ich 217 

Dass  ich  bequem  verbluten  kann 247 

Dass  ich  dich  liebe,  p  Mopschen 27 

Dein  Angesicht,  so  lieb  und  schon 46 

Deine  weissen   Liljenfinger 109 

Den  Konig  Wiswamitra 117 

Der  arme  Peter  wankt  vorbei 35 

Der  bleiche,  herbstliche  Halbmond 106 

Der  Brief,  den  du  geschrieben 213 

Der  Hans  und  die  Crete  tanzen  herum 34 

Der  Herbstwind  riittelt  die  Baume .  77 

Der  junge  Franziskaner  sitzt 246 

Der  kranke  Sohn  und  die  Mutter 153 

Der  Mai  ist  da  mit  seinen  goldnen  Lichtern 143 

Der  Mond  ist  auf  gegangen 94 

Der  Schmetterling  ist  in  die  Rose  verliebt 206 

Der  Traumgott  bracht'  mich  in  ein  Riesenschloss 78 

Der  Sturm  spielt  auf  zum  Tanze 96 

Der  Tag  ist  in  die  Nacht  verliebt 250 

Der  Tod,  das  ist  die  kiihle  Nacht 142 

Der  weite  Bpden  ist  iiberzogen 30 

Der  Wind  zieht  seine  Hosen  an 96 

Deutschland  ist  noch  kleines  Kind 261 

Die  alten  bosen  Lieder 82 

Die  blauen    Friihlingsaugen 208 

Die  blauen  Veilchen  der  Augelein 60 

Die  Erde  war  so  lange  geizig 59 

Die  grauen    Nachmittagswolken 196 

Die  holden  Wunsche  bliihen 214 

Die  Jahre  kommen  und  gehen 105 

Die  Jungfrau  schlaft  in  der  Kammer 103 

Die  Lilje  meiner  Liebe 99 

Die  Linde  bliihte,  die  Nachtigall  sang 57 

Die  Lotosblume  angstigt 49 

Die  Mitternacht  war  kalt  und  stumm 79 

Die  Mutter-Gottes  zu  Kevlaar 151 

Die  Nacht  ist  f eucht  und  stiirmisch ,    90 

Die  Rose,  die  Lilje,  die  Taube,  die  Sonne 46 

Die  Rose  duftet — doch  ob  sie  empfindet 210 


Index  283 

PAGE 

Die  schlanke  Wasserlilie 209 

Die  schone   Sonne 189 

Diesen  liebenswurd'gen  Jiingling 128 

Deiser  Liebe  toller  Fasching 226 

Dieses  ist  Amerika 270 

Die  Sonnenlichter   spielten 178 

Die  ungetreue  Luise 252 

Die  Walder  und  Felder  griinen 26 

Die  Welt  ist  dumm,  die  Welt  ist  blind 52 

Die  Welt  ist  so  schon  und  der  Himmel  so  blau 60 

Doch  die  Kastraten  klagten 138 

Du  bist  ja  heut  so  grambefangen 239 

Du  bist  wie  eine  Blume 1 18 

Du  bleibest  mir  treu  am  langsten 59 

Du  hast  Diamanten  und  Perlen 126 

Du  liebst  mich  nicht,  du  liebst  mich  nicht 50 

Du  liegst  mir  so  gern  im  Arme 232 

Du  schones    Fischermadchen 93 

Du  sollst  mich  liebend  umschliessen 50 

Ein  Fichtenbaum  steht  einsam 61 

Eingehiillt  in  graue  Wolken 95 

Ein  Jiingling  liebt  ein  Madchen 66 

Ein  Reiter  durch  das  Bergthal  zieht 33 

Ein  schoner  Stern  geht  auf  in  meiner  Nacht 232 

Emma,  sage  mir  die  Wahrheit 231 

Entflieh  mit  mir  und  sei  mein  Weib 240 

Er  ist  so   herzbeweglich 235 

Er  steht  so  starr  wie  ein  Baumstamm 230 

Es  treibt  mich  hin,  es  treibt  mich  her ! 21 

Es  blasen  die  blauen  Husaren 135 

Es  drangt  die  Not,  es  lauten  die  Glocken 208 

Es  erklingen  alle    Baume 206 

Es  erklingt  wie  Liebestone 264 

Es  fiillt   ein    Stern   herunter 78 

Es  fiel  ein  Reif  in  der  Friihlingsnacht 241 

Es  gliinzt  so  schon  die  sinkende  Sonne 235 

Es  haben  unsre  Herzen 210 

Es  kommt  ein  Vogel  geflogen  aus  Westen 195 

Es  lauf  t  dahin  die  Barke 236 

Es  lechtet  meine  Liebe 70 

Es  liegt  der  heisse  Sommer 71 

Es  ragt  ins  Meer  der  Runenstein 221 

Es  schauen  die  Blumen  alle 67 

Es  stehen  unbeweglich 47 

Es  war  ein  alter  Konig 211 

Es  war  mal  ein  Ritter,  trubselig  und  stumm 43 

Es  wiitet  der  Sturm 181 

Es  ziehen  die  brausenden  Wellen 220 


284  Index 


PAGE 

Freundschaft,  Liebe,  Stein  der  Weisen 66 

Fiirchte  nichts,  geliebte  Seele 225 

Gaben  mir  Raj:  und  gute  Lehren 127 

Gross  ist  die  Ahnlichkeit  der  beiden  schonen 273 

Habe  auch  in  jungen  Jahren 136 

Habe  mich  mit  Liebesreden 123 

Hast  du  die  Lippen  mir  wund  gekiisst 133 

Hat  die  Natur  sich  auch  verschlechtert 258 

"  Hat  sie  sich  derm  nie  geaussert " 109 

Hatte  wie  ein  Pelikan 271 

Heller  wird  es  schon  im  Osten 167 

Herangedammert  kam  der  Abend 180 

Herwegh,  du  eiserne  Lerche 260 

Herz,  mein  Herz,  sei  nicht  beklommen 1 18 

Himmlisch  war's,  wenn  ich  bezwang 137 

Hoch  am  Himmel  stand  die  Sonne 184 

Hor'  ich  das  Liedchen  klingen 66 

Ich  bin  das  Schwert,  ich  bin  die  Flamme 279 

Ich  bin  die  Prinzessin  Use 168 

Ich  bin  nun  fiinfunddressig  Jahr'  alt 237 

Ich  glaub'  nicht  an  den  Himmel 58 

Ich  grolle  nicht,  und  wenn  das  Herz  auch  bricht 53 

Ich  hab'  dich  geliebet  und  liebe  dich  noch ! 69 

Ich  hab'  im  Traum  geweinet 75 

Ich  hab'  mir  lang  den  Kopf  zerbrochen 124 

Ich  halte  ihr  die  Augen  zu 224 

Ich  hatte  einst  ein  schones  Vaterland 2^ 

Ich  kann  es  nicht  vergessen /3 

Ich  kam  von  meiner  Herrin  Haus 1 1 

Ich  lag  und  schlief,  und  schlief  recht  mild 17 

Ich  liebe  solche  weisse  Glieder in 

Ich  rief  den  Teuf  el  und  er  kam i 1 1 1 

Ich  stand  in  dunkeln  Traumen 104 

Ich  steh'  auf  des  Berges  Spitze 74 

Ich  trat  in  jene  Hallen 101 

Ich  ungliicksel'ger  Atlas!   eine  Welt 104 

Ich  wandelte  unter  den  Baumen 22 

Ich  weiss  eine  alte  Runde 39 

Ich  weiss  nicht,  was  soil  es  bedeuten 87 

Ich  will  meine  Seele  tauchen 47 

Ich  will  mich  im  griinen  Wald  ergehn 27 

Ich  wollte  bei  dir  weilen. 122 

Ich  wollte,  meine  Lieder 23 

Ich  wpllt'  meine  Schmerzen  ergossen 125 

Ihr  Lieder  !     Ihr  meine  guten  Lieder  ! 173 

Im  Anfang  war  die  Nachtigall t .  207 

Im  diistern  Auge  keine  Thrane 263 


Index  285 

PAGE 

Im  Rhein,  im  schonen  Strome 49 

Im  Traum  sah  ich  die  Geliebte 115 

Im  Traum  sah  ich  ein  Mannchen,  klein  und  putzig 9 

Im  Walde  wandl'  ich  und  weine 89 

Im  wunderschonen   Monat   Mai 45 

In  dem  abendlichen  Garten 146 

In  dem  Walde  spriesst  und  grunt  es 205 

In  den  Kiissen,  welche  Luge 134 

In  der  Hand  die  kleine  Lampe 248 

In  meinen    Tagestraumen 227 

In  mein  gar  zu  dunkles  Leben 87 

"  In  meiner  Brust,  da  sitzt  ein  Weh'  " 34 

In  meiner  Erinnrung  erbliihen 212 

In  welche  soil  ich  mich  verlieben 229 

Ja,  du  bist  elend,  und  iche  grolle  nicht 54 

Ja,  Europa  ist  erlegen 271 

Jugend,  die  mir  taglich  schwindet 230 

Kaum  sahen  wir  tins,  und  an  Augen  und  Stimmen 139 

Kind  !  es  ware  dein  Verderben 119 

Konig  ist  der  Hirtenknabe 166 

Kiisse,  die  man  stiehlt  im  Dunkeln 211 

Lehn'  deine  Wang'  an  meine  Wang' 47 

Leise  zieht  durch  mein  Gemiit 205 

Liebe  sprach  zum  Gott  der  Lieder 272 

Lieb  Liebchen,  leg's  Handchen  aufs  Herze  mein 23 

Liebste,  sollst  mir  heute  sagen :  52 

Madchen  mit  dem  roten   Miindchen 120 

Mag  da  draussen  Schnee  sich  tiirmen 120 

Manch  Bild  vergessener  Zeiten 65 

Man  glaubt,  dass  ich  mich  grame 108 

Meeresstille !     Ihre  Strahlen 183 

Meine  Qual  und  meine  Klagen 43 

Meiner  goldgelockten  Schonen 249 

Mein  Herz,  mein  Herz  ist  traurig 88 

Mein  Kind,  wir  waren  Kinder 112 

Mein  Knecht !     steh  auf  und  sattle  schnell 37 

Mein  Liebchen,  wir  sassen  beisammen 68 

Mein  susses  Lieb,  wenn  du  im  Grab 61 

Mein  Wagen  rollet  langsam 75 

Mensch,  verspotte  nicht  den  Teuf el in 

Mir  redet  ein  die  Eitelkeit —  .  234 

Mir  traumt :  ich  bin  der  Hebe  Gott 129 

Mrir  traumte  von  einem  Konigskind 6? 

v,'ir  traumte  wieder  der  alte  Traum 73 

,i    :  deinen  blauen  Augen 209 

2   :  deinen  grossen,  allwissenden  Augen 28 


286  Index 

Mit  schwarzen  Segeln  segelt  mein  Schiff 219 

Mitteralterliche  Roheit 275 

Morgens  send'  ich  dir  die  Veilchen 212 

Morgens  steh'  ich  auf  und  frage 21 

Mutter  zum  Bienelein 39 

Nach  Frankreich  zogen  zwei  Grenadier' 35 

Nacht  lag  auf  meinen  Augen 80 

Nacht  liegt  auf  den  fremden  Wegen 142 

Nicht  lange  tauschte  mich  das  Gliick 228 

Nun  ist  es  Zeit,  dass  ich  mit  Verstand 117 

O,  des  liebenswiird'gen  Dichters 238 

O,  die  Liebe  macht  uns  selig 29 

O,  du  kanntest  Koch  und  Kiiche 28 

O,  mein  gnadiges  Fraulein,  erlaubt 127 

O  schwore  nicht  und  kiisse  nur 51 

Philister  in  Sonntagsrocklein 64 

"Sag,  wo  ist  dein  schones  Liebchen" 143 

Saphire  sind  die  Augen  dein 122 

Schaff  mich  nicht  ab,  wenn  auch  den  Durst 225 

Schattenkusse,    Schattenliebe 219 

Schlage  die  Trommel  und  furchte  dich  nicht 257 

Schone,  helle,  goldne  Sterne 62 

Schon  mit  ihren  schlimmsten  Schatten 231 

Schone  Wiege  meiner  Leiden 24 

Schone,   wirtschaf tliche    Dame 141 

Schwarze  Rocke,  seidne  Striimpfe 157 

Sei  mir  gegriisst,  du  grosse 100 

Seit  die   Liebste  war  entfernt 63 

Selten  habt  ihr  mich  verstanden 138 

Sie  haben  dir  viel  erzahlet 56 

Sie  haben  heut  Abend  Gesellschaft 124 

Sie  haben  mich  gequalet 71 

Sie  hatten  sich  beide  so  herzlich  lieb 245 

Sie  liebten  sich  beide,  doch  keiner no 

Sie  sassen  und  tranken  am  Theetisch 72 

So  hast  du  ganz  und  gar  vergessen 55 

Solche  Biicher  lasst  du  drucken ! 257 

Sorge  nie,  dass   ich  verrate 213 

So  wandl'  ich  wieder  den  alten  Weg 101 

Steht  ein  Baum  im  schonen  Garten 228 

Sterne  mit  den  goldnen  Fiisschen 2T4   A 

Sternlos  und  kalt  ist  die  Nacht v  17     l 

Still  ist  die  Nacht.  es  ruhen  die  Gassen 10 


Still  versteckt  der  Mond  sich  draussen 16 


Index  287 

PAGE 

Taglich  ging  die  wunderschone 269 

Tannenbaum,  mit  griinen  Fingern 160 

"  Teurer  Freund,  du  bist  verliebt " 121 

Teurer  Freund !    Was  soil  es  nutzen 1 16 

Thalatta !    Thalatta ! 187 

Dber  die  Berge  steigt  schon  die  Sonne 140 

Und  als  ich  euch  meine  Schmerzen  geklagt no 

Und  als  ich  so  lange,  so  lange  gesaumt 60 

Und  bist  du  erst  mein  ehlich  Weib 133 

Und  wiissten's  die  Blumen,  die  kleinen 55 

Unser  Grab  erwarmt  der  Ruhm 276 

Vergiftet  sind  meine  Lieder 73 

Verlorner  Posten  in  dem  Freiheitskriege 277 

Verriet  mein  blasses  Angesicht 121 

Verstummt  sind  Pauken,  Posaunen  und  Zinken 274 

Vollbliihender  Mond !     In  deinem  Licht 191 

Von  schonen  Lippen  fortgedrangt,  getrieben 131 

Vor  der   Brust  die  trikoloren 229 

Warum  sind  denn  die  Rosen  so  blass 56 

Was  bedeuten  gelbe  Rosen 264 

Was  treibt  und  tobt  mein  tolles  Blut  ? 9 

Was    will  die  einsame  Thrane 105 

Weil  ich  so  ganz  vorziiglich  blitze 262 

VVelke  Veilchen,  staub'ge  Locken 272 

Wenn  der  Friihling  kommt  mit  dem  Sonnenschein 40 

Wenn  ich  an  deinem  Hause 97 

Wenn  ich  auf  dem   Lager  liege. 119 

Wenn  ich  bei  meiner  Liebsten  bin 21 

Wenn  ich,  beseligt  von  schonen  Kiissen 224 

VVenn  ich  in  deine  Augen  seh' 46 

vVenn  junge  Herzen  brechen 26 

Wenn  man  an  dir  Verrat  geiibt 269 

vVenn  zwei  von  einander  scheiden 72 

vVerdet  nur  nicht  ungeduldig 1 16 

kVer  zum  erstenmale  liebt 126 

vVie  auf  dem  Felde  die  Weizenhalmen 199 

•Vie  der  Mond  sich  leuchtend  dranget 1 14 

,Vie  die  Mondes  Abbild  zittert 210 

Vie  die  Wellenschaumgeborene 52 

Vie  dunkle  Traume  stehen 132 

Vie  entwickeln  sich  doch  schnelle 222 

Vie  kannst  du  ruhig  schlaf en 102 

Vie  langsam  kriechet  sie  dahin 274 

Vie  rasch  du  auch  voriiberschrittest 222 

Vie  schandlich   du   gehandelt 220 

Vir  f uhren  allein  im  dunkeln 131 

Vir  haben  viel  fur  einander  gefiihlt 58 


288  Index 


PAGE 

Wir  mussen  zugleich  uns  betriiben 265 

Wir  sassen   am   Fischerhause 92 

Wir  standen  an  der  Strasseneck 227 

Wohl  unter  der  Linde  erklingt  die  Musik 251 

Wo  ich  bin,  mich  rings  umdunkelt 80 

Wo  wird  einst  des  Wandermiiden 277 

Zu  dem  Wettgesange  schreiten 38 

Zu  der  Lauheit  und  der  Flauheit 127 

Zu  f ragmentarisch  ist  Welt  und  Leben 124 

Zu  Halle  auf   dem   Markt 140 


H 
Poems 


•  A3